Hours separate P-Noy as campaigner, President
URDANETA CITY—President Aquino on Monday inaugurated a P48-million school building shortly before attending a campaign sortie of the Liberal Party here.
Mr. Aquino arrived here at 3 p.m. and inspected the building’s 24 classrooms, which can accommodate more than 1,000 students. He was accompanied by Cristino Naguiat Jr., chair of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor), who turned over the building to officials of the Department of Education.
“This is better than spending P1 billion on coffee,” said Mr. Aquino, referring to the controversial Pagcor expenses on coffee during the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Emmanuel Diaz, head of the Department of Public Works and Highways district office here, said Pagcor had funded 25 school buildings in eastern Pangasinan towns. “We are now constructing more than 700 classrooms in 20 schools, worth about P417 million,” he said.
Earlier in Dagupan City, Mr. Aquino turned over P15.6 million worth of Shared Service Facility (SSF) projects to 23 cooperatives in 19 Pangasinan towns.
The projects provide services for food processing, organic fertilizer production and other cottage industries.
Mr. Aquino recalled the time when he bought “tupig” (rice cake filled with grated coconut) to illustrate the project’s importance.
“When I removed the leaf wrapper, there was another leaf, and then another leaf, and another leaf. What was inside was a very small piece of tupig. I called the vendor and asked him why the tupig was very small. The vendor explained that they had not increased prices, so tupig makers made the tupig smaller,” he said.
“Maybe with SSF, we can make the tupig bigger,” the President added. Gabriel Cardinoza, Inquirer Northern Luzon
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