Pacquiao: Poorest provinces to get the attention they deserve

Published February 9, 2022, 6:29 PM

by Ben Rosario

ALABEL, Saranggani – The ten poorest provinces in the country, most of which are situated in Visayas and Mindanao, will be in the priority list of development programs of a government to be headed by PROMDI Party standard bearer Sen. Manny Pacquiao.

Presidential candidate Sen. Manny Pacquiao accompanies senatoriables Raffy Tulfo and Lutz Garbo in a visit to the Pacman Village in Alabel, Saranggani

In a press briefing here, Pacquiao, together with senatorial hopefuls Raffy “Idol” Tulfo (Independent) and former Eastern Samar Gov. Lutgardo “Lutz” Garbo (PDP-Laban-Pimentel Wing) laid out plans to ameliorate provinces that have been lagging behind in economic development for several decades now.

The three candidates vying for national posts visited this town to inspect the Pacman Village, a community built by Pacquiao to provide free housing for poor and homeless families.

Most of the poor provinces in the country are located in Visayas and Mindanao, where the home provinces of the three bets are located. Pacquiao was born in Bukidnon but was raised in Saranggani and General Santos City; Tulfo grew up in Davao City while Garbo is from Eastern Samar.

Aside from Saranggani, the 2019 list of poorest provinces in the country are Lanao del Sur, Northern Samar, Maguindanao, Bukidnon, Sultan Kudarat, Zamboanga del Norte, Siquijor and Agusan del Sur.

Pacquiao admitted that there is indeed a need to push for more projects in the poorest provinces in the country, adding that free housing and improvement of agriculture are vital.

In a separate interview, the country’s boxing icon said the country’s poorest provinces should get from the government the needed attention they can get.

Tulfo, a popular broadcaster, stressed that addressing underemployment and unemployment are key strategies that should help economically-displaced provinces recover.

He said these are the reasons why people in the said provinces abandon their homes to seek greener pastures elsewhere, especially Metro Manila. The senatorial candidate said investors and businesses should be lured to put up businesses in the Visayas and Mindanao to upgrade the economic situation of poor provinces.

Meanwhile, Garbo proposed the setting up of local communes patterned after those put up in Israel.

“Pwede tayo mag-pilot ng community farming. Magtayo tayo ng mga cooperative at gamitin natin ang Department of Agriculture para magturo sa mga tao dito. (We can pilot a community farming. Let us put up cooperatives and use the Department of Agriculture to teach people here),” said Garbo, former Senate secretary general and a professor in public administration and governance.