By Dhel Nazario
Former Vice President Jejomar Binay on Wednesday vowed to expand and enhance social programs in Makati, as part of his duties to his constituents.
Speaking before a forum on Good Governance organized by the YMCA of Makati, Binay said his priority projects will include college scholarships, livelihood programs, and medical assistance in state-run specialized health care institutions and hospitals.
Binay, who served as Makati mayor for over two decades prior to being elected Vice President in 2010, is running for a congressional seat in the first district of Makati as the official candidate of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) under the ticket of incumbent Mayor Abby Binay.
“If I were asked what motivates me to continue pursuing a career in public service, I would give a simple answer: I believe much still needs to be done in order to restore the dignity of the people,” Binay said.
The former chief executive said if elected as Representative of the first district, he will initiate tie-ups with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), and other agencies to develop residents into highly competent, skilled and employable workers, and successful entrepreneurs.
Binay also stated his intent to institute a medical assistance program with the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI), Philippine Heart Center (PHC), Lung Center of the Philippines (LCP), and various state-run hospitals, to expand residents’ access to specialized health care and tertiary health services outside the city.
He added that his congressional office will also allocate funds for the provision of additional equipment for the city-run Ospital ng Makati, including incubators and ventilators, among others.
The former mayor said that after 33 years, the city government has succeeded in extending to all citizens, especially the poor, quality health and education that were previously accessible only to a few.
“Our social programs have made an impact on the lives of the citizens of Makati. Poverty has dropped drastically.
According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, from a poverty incidence of 34.7 percent in 2000, we have succeeded in lowering the rate of poverty to 0.5 percent in 2012,” Binay said.
He also emphasized that far from being dole-outs that encourage mendicancy, as critics say, Makati’s social programs are the rights of citizens. “Makati’s social programs are an investment in the future, not an expense,” he said.