Vice President Leni Robredo addressed the concerns of senior citizens on Wednesday, April 20, at a rally in Canlaon City, Negros Oriental. Many elderly supporters had waited for hours, and listened to her intently under the shade of trees, away from the stage.
"VP Leni, gawing 1,500 ang social pension ng mga senior," read a placard held up in the audience.
“Hindi lang po tataasan pero dapat lahat meron,” the presidential candidate replied.
“Centenarian gift sa edad, 80-95 years old," read another sign. Robredo agreed, saying the elderly might as well enjoy their benefits while they still could. “Sang-ayon po ako sa inyo para ma-enjoy ninyo pa naman, di ba, para ma-enjoy pa kasi pag 100 years old na ibibigay, hindi na natin na-eenjoy.”
Still another placard read, “Service vehicle for the elderly people."
Her reply: “Dapat talaga pangalagaan. Di ba, pag kailangan pumunta sa doktor, kailangan pumunta sa munisipyo dapat meron kayong sasakyan para hindi niyo kailangan na iistorbohin pa 'yung maraming tao para makalakad lang kayo.”
Robredo had chosen distant Canlaon as her entry point to Negros Oriental this trip, her first visit to the city.
“Alam niyo po, kaya po sinadya namin na talagang pumunta kahit malayo, kasi hindi ko pa po kayo nakikilala ng personal,” the presidential aspirant said.
Earlier, at an assembly of mayors and barangay officials of District 1 organized by Rep. Jocelyn Limkaichong, Robredo explained why she had chosen the far-flung city, which is three hours away from Dumaguete and travelers have to pass through a mountainous route to get there.
“Talagang pinupuntahan namin 'yung tingin namin na pinakamalalayo,” she said. “'Yung paniniwala po namin konti lang 'yung aming mandate, konti lang 'yung aming resources so, tututukan namin 'yung pinakamalalayo at pinakahirap na mga lugar.
Robredo’s last trip to Negros Oriental was in December, the first national official to visit the province in the devastating aftermath of Typhoon Odette, with relief operations in different parts of region.
“Tinatanong po kami: Bakit daw 'yung Office of the Vice President napaka bilis magbigay ng tulong? Ang sagot ko po parati: mabilis kaming magbigay ng tulong kasi may eleksyon o wala, may sakuna o wala, nandito na kami,” Robredo said.
In 2016, Robredo handily won the province in her vice presidential bid with 255,000 votes against her rival Ferdinand Marcos Jr’s, 66,000 votes, the biggest difference in terms of percentage in the country in that election. [END]