DAVAO CITY – Presidential aspirant Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago said she is “hurt” with the survey results which showed her as lagging behind other candidates despite a strong endorsement by young voters.
During the presidential forum held at the University of the Philippines in Mindanao here Wednesday, April 20 Santiago said she wondered why she topped the youth’s choice in a presidential survey but lagged behind in the surveys “paid by commercial firms.”
“I want to ask why, but maybe the answer is in Metro Manila. Why is it that if you ask the youth who they want to be president, from north to south, east and west, I’m always number one? But in the survey of commercial firms which are paid, I don’t appear in their survey,” Santiago said.
“It’s hurtful,” she said.
Santiago was the leading choice of the students of the UP in Diliman campus. In a survey conducted by ABS-CBN on April 13-15, Santiago got 57.04 percent.
In contrast, Santiago tailed last in the recent Pulse Asia survey conducted from April 5-10 with only one percent of the votes.
Santiago said she just learned that she placed second in a survey by (Radyo) Veritas. But she quipped: “How can I place number two in a nationwide survey by Veritas if according to the commercial surveys I do not exist?”
Invest in people
Should she win in the elections, Santiago promised to invest in research and development and in the work force to make economic growth inclusive.
“All candidates eloquently promise inclusive growth, but stutter when asked to explain it,” Santiago said.
“The answer is simple. We must invest in people. We need to educate them. Take care of their health and feed them so they would become productive members of growing work force,” said Santiago.
Santiago cited a UP study which found that education should be complemented with research and development to make the work force competitive.
Should she win in the elections, Santiago said she would “wholeheartedly adopt U.P.’s proposal of investing more heavily in R&D.”
The first budget proposal she will submit to congress will have research and development allocation “equivalent to 1 percent of the GDP.”
“This will gradually increase to 2 percent of the GDP by our last year in office,” said Santiago.
Santiago said her “key areas for investment” will include agriculture “particularly for the development of farming technologies and crop varieties that will help the sector cope with disasters and climate change.”
She also said she will invest in manufacturing and micro, small and medium enterprises.
Santiago also proposed to have a Scientific Communications Act, which seeks to train scientists and researchers to better relay the results of their studies and endeavors to policy making.
“As senator, I have filed several bills aimed at creating an environment conducive to innovation and fostering collaboration among the government, the private sector, the academe, and research institutions. Unfortunately, these bills have languished at the committee level,” Santiago said.
“Only when we invest in people can we truly make growth inclusive,” she added.
Santiago also hit her rivals during her speech regarding their expensive political advertisement spending.
“We can clearly see that even before the official campaign periods, a lot of the presidential candidates have already had their TV advertisements. You know that a three-second advertisement on TV costs half a million. Where do they get their money?” she said.
She added, “(T)hey have not yet even started, but they are already stealing (the people’s money).”
Santiago said if she gets elected her first priority would be to ask the Office of the Ombudsman to conduct a thorough investigation of all cases involving the misuse of the Priority Development Assistance Fund or pork barrel by government officials. (davaotoday.com)