Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr. today received an “unprecedented” welcome by barangay captains in Cebu City as more than eighty percent of them were in attendance to personally meet him on the first day of the Cebu leg of his “Unity Caravan.”
Joel Capili Garganera, Barangay Captain of Tinago said it is the first that 69 out of the 80 barangay captains in Cebu City had gathered to welcome a vice presidential candidate.
“This is our very first time to meet him. He’s the only vice president who took his time out and meet the barangay captains. This is the first time, to my knowledge, we gained an audience with a vice presidentiable, and this big,” Garganera stressed.
He said most of those who attended the lunch gathering at the Cebu Country Club were inclined to support Marcos because he is the only vice presidential candidate who had come from the local government.
“First and foremost, among the vice presidentiables, he’s the only candidate who hails from the local government unit, being a vice governor and governor. And more than that, yung affiliation namin, among the vice presidentiable, he’s the only one coming from Visayas. Half of his blood hails from Tacloban, and there’s no other candidate,” Garganera said.
Garganera also said they appreciate the passage in the Senate of the Barangay Retirement bill that was authored by the senator. The bill’s House version is awaiting final approval.
“We are so lucky also to know that the Senate has passed its version of the bill, which was authored by the chairman of the local government unit, (and) we hear it firsthand (from him). And somehow it will add to our admiration to him,” he said.
Under the proposed measure, a barangay chairman who has reached the retirement age of 60 and had served at least three terms will be entitled to P100,000 in retirement benefits. Other barangay workers will be entitled to at least P50,000 in retirement benefits.
Marcos said the proposed law is a recognition of the hard work and dedication of all barangay workers to public service.
“We all know the time and effort and sacrifice our barangay workers put into serving their constituents but they are not entitled to any pension from the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS). This proposed law is our way of saying thank you to them for their years of service,” Marcos said.
Marcos started the first day of his 4-day Unity Caravan in Cebu today, the first time he is campaigning in the Visayas region.
When asked about his standing in Cebu based on the surveys, Marcos reiterated that he is not very keen on the survey results and instead focus on the campaign.
“We don’t rely on the surveys because if we do, then we won’t be able to campaign effectively because survey results tend to change. We just stay focused and continue with our campaign message of unity which the people have accepted,” he said .