Duterte asks Tondo folk: Help gov’t, benefits will reach you
MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte urged more than 500 residents of a community in Tondo on Thursday night to “follow and help” government as he assured them that benefits in education and healthcare would reach the masses.
“There has to be change not only in government but in us people. Let’s do it at the same time. I promise you if you follow government and help us, I guarantee that our lives will be uplifted and all the money in government for the people will really go to the people,” he told residents from Isla Puting Bato at Delpan Sports Complex.
Announcing that they “could now enter Malacañang” especially the children, he said he would first focus on education and “strive” for all the poor’s children to be able study.
“(With) the money in government, you will be first in education,” he said.
He said that next to education, he would emphasize healthcare for the people, many of whom, he said, were poor and had no money to buy medicine.
For this, he said that some P30 to 35 billion in profits from gambling in casinos owned by the government would go to the people for medicine.
“The hospitals will not be worried of losing money … I have directed that the income of the (Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation) will be returned to the poor…at least you can buy your medicine already,” he said.
Duterte mentioned agriculture as a third major concern.
He warned that the Philippines “has no more resources and the big lands in Mindanao are being grabbed (naaagaw) by multinational companies.”
This meant, he said, that corporations owned by non-Filipinos have been getting richer.
“We don’t have lands anymore where we can plant rice for food…We don’t have food crops to (trade)..,” he said.
He said he wanted to give back to the tenants all the land that was “lost” in land reform.
For this, he said he would look for a program.
“But let’s look for a way … the profits from the land, whatever product is that, the government will buy it so they will surely have profits from their land,” Duterte said.
He vowed to look for “big” money which would be given to the farmers so they could buy seedlings, fertilizers, and “any other that they need for farming” if this was possible.
He touched on micro-financing, saying he would like to give “even just a small amount” so the poor could put up their own small businesses.
“All I’m asking is for this amount to be paid back, returned to government so your fellow Filipino..can have a business of his own,” he said. SFM/rga
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