LEGAZPI CITY, Nov. 6 (PNA) -- Liberal Party (LP) vice presidential candidate Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo on Friday reiterated her desire to help the poor in the country after she admitted that the government has to deepen and widen the scope of its poverty alleviation scheme Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).
In a phone interview, Robredo said there is a need for the government concerned to address poverty to feel the daily struggle, hardships, and sufferings of the poor.
She said she is now also involved in a program to address hunger in Naga City through a feeding program for some 13 farmer-beneficiaries.
Earlier, Robredo, who was the guest speaker during the Halloween Lunch last October 31 at the ancestral home of the Lagman clan in Barangay Sogod, Bacacay, Albay, met withmore than 2,000 LP candidates in the first district of Albay, which is composed of the City of Tabaco and the towns of Bacacay, Malilipot, Malinao, Sto. Domingo and Tiwi.
Former 1st District congressman Edcel Lagman (LP) is making a come back after his son, incumbent Congressman Grex Lagman decided to return to ordinary life while former Tabaco City mayor Krisel Luistro-Lagman (LP) is also trying to reclaim her former position.
Both the elder Lagman and Luistro-Lagman pledged his all-out support for an LP win in the first district.
“She is a Bicolana from Camarines Sur and Sorsogon. She is simple, humble, beautiful, strong, competent, capable and, above all, maka-masa like the late Jesse Robredo,” said the elder Lagman.
“She is also a lawyer -- not the corporate lawyer of the big businesses and rich capitalists but a lawyer of poor,” he added.
After passing the bar in 1990, Robredo worked first at the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) in Camarines Sur and later joined the Sentro ng Alternatibong Lingap Panlegal (Saligan), a non-government organization giving free legal services to members of the marginalized sector.
“I think I will enjoy getting involved in national anti-poverty programs of the government,” she said.
She said addressing poverty is very important today because there are so many problems in the country that are rooted in poverty.
To support this, she said, she wants to continue and expand the 4Ps.
“Some national candidates do not want to continue the 4Ps but I have seen how this program has helped a lot of poor people in the country and the barangay captains can attest to that,” she said.
The 4Ps, Robredo said, has been a very significant help to the poor and powerless in our country.
She said the 4Ps provides a mechanism for the poor to break the poverty cycle.
“When I said that I want the 4Ps to expand I don’t just want to increase the numbers of recipients but to deepen the program,” she added.
Since 4Ps has a sunset provision, Robredo said, she wants more beneficiaries to gain skills and be given capital to start a small business.
Pantawid Pamilya is a human development program that invests in the health and education of poor households for children aged 0-18 by providing cash grants to partner-beneficiaries who comply with the conditions of sending their children to school, bringing them to health centers for checkups, and attending monthly Family Development Sessions. (PNA) LAP/FGS/AT/CBD/RSM