By Bernadette E. Tamayo | The Manila Times
THE country can recover from the effects of the pandemic through the "formidable tandem" of former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. and outgoing Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP) said on Wednesday.
It issued the statement a day after Duterte-Carpio confirmed that her camp had entered into an alliance with Marcos.
Marcos is the PFP's standard-bearer while Duterte-Carpio will run for vice president under the Lakas-CMD (Christian Muslim Democrats) banner.
The PFP said it "takes pride in the formalization of the BBM-Sara ticket for the 2022 national elections."
"We believe that through this formidable tandem, our nation can recover, heal and be great once again," the party said. "Through their unifying partnership, with the help of the PFP-Lakas-CMD coalition and our allies, we can begin the noble task of nation building."
"With the BBM-Sara Duterte ticket, truly sama-sama tayong babangon muli (we can all rise together)!" it added.
Duterte-Carpio on Wednesday accepted the offer to serve as the chairman of the Lakas-CMD party.
Sen. Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr., who was the party's former chairman, offered the post to Duterte-Carpio.
"I am honored to accept the chairmanship of Lakas-CMD," she said in a statement.
"Together with the party, I look forward to waging a successful campaign for Uniteam BBM-Sara, with the invaluable support of our fellow Filipinos," she added.
Last week, the Davao City mayor quit her regional Hugpong ng Pagbabago party to join Lakas-CMD.
The joining of forces between the two candidates was seen to bolster the chances of Marcos and Duterte-Carpio winning in next year's polls.
Although relatively a new party, the PFP, which was created in 2018, boasts of 1.5 million members nationwide.
Around 300 members in different parts of the country ran in the 2019 elections.
The PFP claimed that it enjoys a stronghold in Mindanao down to the municipal level, aside from a nationwide stellar membership and an active national youth organization.
The party's platform is to have a drug-free, insurgency-free, corruption-free and poverty-free society.
If he wins, Marcos Jr. said he will push for a program called the National Education Portal (NEP).
He said the NEP will hasten the digital shift of the country's education system.
The NEP will be an online platform accessible to students and teachers to "simplify and secure e-learning" for both public and private institutions.
It will also serve as a central hub to allow students and teachers to communicate securely and provide digital learning materials.
The portal will be developed by concerned government agencies together with IT (information technology) experts from the private sector.
Marcos added that the NEP will complement the Duterte administration's Build, Build, Build program as he also intends to integrate digital infrastructure development.
Marcos added that he will seek the support and assistance of telecom (telecommunication companies) and internet providers to ensure that the NEP becomes a success.
"Kung sakaling tayo ay papalarin [manalo bilang pangulo], agad tayong makikipag-ugnay sa malalaking telcos, at sa ibang companies para pag-usapan 'yung (If we'll get lucky to win the presidency, we will immediately coordinate with big telcos to discuss the) digital infrastructure," Marcos said.
"We need to immediately address this kind of problem in education, we must also modernize school equipment," he said.