Press Release
April 24, 2016


Independent presidential candidate Sen. Grace Poe said efforts to achieve lasting peace in Mindanao should be supplemented with all-out development and genuine progress.

While Poe supports all-out war against terror groups, she said the national government must invest in infrastructure projects, health programs, and livelihood opportunities to benefit Mindanao's 22 million people.

"All-out war sa mga nagbabanta sa atin pero dapat all-out development din," Poe said in response to a question by a Muslim mother whose family was among those displaced by the peace and order situation in the region.

"Importante rin na pangalagaan natin ang imprastruktura, sapagkat kung konektado kayo sa isa't isa, mas madaling mababantayan ang mga teritoryo natin sa Mindanao," the senator said.

Alongside security issues, Poe said agriculture was one sector that the government should help if it wants to bring development to the remote areas of Mindanao.

"'Yung ating tagtuyot sa Mindanao--halimbawa na lang, Region 12 yata, South Cotabato--halos lagpas P200-bilyon ang ibinibigay sa atin [ng] kanilang mga agricultural products, pero pagdating sa tulong sa El Nino, P9-million lang ang ibinibigay natin sa napakalaking budget na inilaan para dito. Makikita mo talagang kulang ang suporta sa Mindanao," she said.

Poe's "Gobyernong may Puso" will allocate one-third of the national budget or P1 trillion to Mindanao to fasttrack development in the region, which has 11 of the 20 poorest provinces in the Philippines.

Another P300 billion will be allotted to help the agriculture sector, which comprises 60 percent of the poorest Filipinos, Poe said.

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