By RUTH ABBEY GITA
SENATOR Grace Poe brought her campaign to Abra last week and promised to end the plight of 234,000 people residing in the province, a third of whom are poor, should she win the 2016 presidential derby.
Poe said that under her “government with heart,” no one would be left behind and no province would be neglected.
Poe promised to provide Abra people with additional infrastructure; crop insurance and free irrigation to farmers; and establishment of agro-industrial zone that can process and trade the farmers’ goods.
“This is the very first time I go here but you can expect that I would not forget it and this is not the last time I would go here,” Poe said in her speech she delivered in Bangued, Abra.
“To be honest, they told me, ‘Why will you go to Abra? That’s too far and it only has small population.’ But my fellow citizens, under the government with heart, wherever you are, whoever you are, you should not be left alone,” she added.
With additional infrastructure like bridges and concrete road networks connecting interior towns to main highways, Poe said Abra would be able to fulfill its potential.
The senator said farmers also needed help and that their crops had to survive extreme weather events such as the El Niño phenomenon, as agriculture is the main driver of Abra’s economy.
She said the government should give farmers easier access to credit so they would not turn to unscrupulous lenders. Typically, a farmer spends P4,500 per hectare per year on irrigation gees, adding to the already high cost of production and forcing them to incur loans.
Poe likewise said more post-harvest facilities and food terminals should be built in the
Cordillera Administrative Region.
With such developments, the senator said more tourists would be visiting Abra, and the lives of the people would improve.
“This is a big dream but it should start with a dream because if you do not have a dream, you have no inspiration,” she said.
Poe was accompanied by her running mate Senator Francis Escudero, and senatorial candidates Lorna Kapunan and Isko Moreno when she visited the province. (Sunnex)