DAGUPAN CITY, Philippines – As the 5 presidential bets were set to face off at the Phinma University of Pangasinan on Sunday, April 24, Pangasinenses urged the candidates to listen to their issues.
Cecilia Cardinoza, a bangus (milkfish) vendor, hopes that the next president will listen and heed the plight of those living below the povery line like her.
“Gusto ko lang naman ay ‘yung leader na kayang pakinggan ang hinaing naming mga mahihirap hindi lang nung nga mayayaman para mabigyan naman namin ng edukasyon ang aming mga anak. At isa pang hinaing ko ay sana maayos din ang sistema ng pagpapamudmud ng Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) kasi yung iba mayaman na nga nakakatanggap pa. Paano naman kami?” Cardinoza asked.
(I want a leader who listens to the plight of the poor so that we can also adequately provide education for our children. I also wish the next government improves its 4Ps program. Some of the beneficiaries are already well-off. What about us?)
This vote-rich province has a poverty incidence of 17% as of 2012. In Pangasinan, P158.65 million is allocated to the conditional cash transfer program for beneficiaries aged 15-18. On the other hand, P1.34 billion is allocated to regular household beneficiaries. The administration’s flagship poverty alleviation program remains under scrutiny.
Cardinoza’s plea was echoed by Amy Jimenez, a vendor with disability in Dagupan City.
“Sana tumutupad sila sa pangako. Sana magbigay sila ng pampublikong gamot lalo na sa tulad ko na disabled,” Jimenez added. (I hope they deliver their promises. I also hope they provide free medical services to disabled people like me.)
Jimenez works and lives on the streets of Dagupan.
Rappler asked our Movers, citizen journalists, and residents what issues concern them in Pangasinan. We received all kinds of photos and stories, some sad and some inspiring.
Here are their stories:
What are the issues affecting your community? Let us know in the comments section below. – with reports from Apple Jyn Idos, Jerico Samson, Mary Macaraeg, Sienna Meneses, Bernadette Munzon, Lucky Valle, Raizzah Balan, Vivienne Valencia, and Josephine Estrada/Rappler.com