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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, July 7, 2016
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Serve poorest first, Koko urges officials

Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III yesterday said if and when he becomes the Senate President, under the Change that the Duterte administration espouses, the vision to develop Bacolod City into a dynamic center for economic growth and development will be achieved.

Pimentel, who was the keynote speaker at the inauguration of the Bacolod City officials led by Mayor Evelio Leonardia at the Bacolod Government Center, is the president of the PDP Laban party and President Rodrigo Duterte is its chairman.

The mantra of the new government is: “The poorest first, the poor second”, he said.

Bacolod is now considered the land of opportunity because of its booming economic growth, Pimentel said, adding that “as many doors open I urge you to invite the poorest first and the poor second, to come in, in harmony with the mantra of our new government.”

He told Bacolod's officials they can contribute to Change by fighting red tape, delay, and inconsistent requirements and instructions in their processes.

Their biggest contribution would be not to be corrupt, and to render sincere selfless public service, Pimentel also stressed.

In his speech, Pimentel also talked about Duterte and his party's thrust so that the local officials' advocacies can be in line with the ruling party's program of government.

Pimentel said Duterte won the elections on a “Program of Government for Change” under the slogan of “Tunay na Pagbabago (real change)”

He said the more essential elements of this program of government for change are all-out support for peace; adoption of the federal system of government; an all-out war against crime, drugs, and corruption; reform in the tax system;

More importance should be given to micro-economics than to the macro-economic indicators because household income and expenditure numbers are more important than GDP figures; making the justice system work; to reform the budget and declare a war on waste; economic growth that is inclusive and sustainable, and to fight abuse and the abusive.

“We will focus on the common man because the government is needed more by the faceless, voiceless, powerless, and penniless members of the Philippine society,” Pimentel said.

Meanwhile, Pimentel cited Leonardia for being committed to bringing justice to the people of Bacolod having passed bills while he was congressman that created more courts for the city.

He also noted that under Leonardia's watch, Bacolod in 2008 was voted the “Best Place to live in the Philippines.

The return of Leonardia as mayor with many plans and ideas should be exciting times for Bacolodnons, Pimentel said.*CPG



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