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Ping: We’ll support NIR if it’s what people want

Ping Lacson, Tito Sotto and their senate bets Dr. Minguita Padilla and Monsour Del Rosario (l-r) at the Tangub multipurpose gym.*

Presidential candidate Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson on Saturday, November 13, said he will support the call for the restoration of the Negros Island Region (NIR) if it is what the people want.

“If that’s what the people of Negros Island want, that’s what we will follow,” said Lacson who along with his runningmate Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III spoke to more than 1,000 cheering supporters at the Tangub multipurpose gym in Bacolod City.

They were accompanied by their senatorial candidate’s actor and former congressman Monsour Del Rosario, who is a Negrense, and Dr. Minguita Padilla, and were greeted by MassKara dancers and supporters waving yellow, blue and red balloons.

Lacson and Sotto vowed to pursue their Budget Reform Advocacy for Village Empowerment (BRAVE) if they win in the 2022 polls.

BRAVE aims to empower local government units down to the barangay level by implementing bottoms up planning of the budget to address the needs of the Filipino people, they said.

Lacson also stressed the need for the full digitalization of the Bureau of Customs to prevent sugar smuggling, and the need for government intervention on the rising prices of fertilizer.

Sotto said under a Lacson administration they will push for government’s buying of 50 percent of all farmers crops to ensure that they get fair prices for their produce.

This can be done if there is no corruption in the Department of Agriculture, he said.

Lacson said the Philippines is in the Intensive Care Unit because of the COVID-19 pandemic and needs experienced leaders to ensure its recovery.

He said while Bayanihan 1 and 2 funds were approved to alleviate the plight of the people amid the pandemic, the problem has been in the implementation.

Sotto pointed out that he has been an ally of Negros having authored measures that created the Patag tourism zone in Silay City, and the conversion of Sagay, Victorias, Kabankalan and Talisay into cities.*

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