BOAC, Marinduque — Vice-presidential aspirant Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan assures Marinduqueños that the Team Robredo-Pangilinan (Tropa) will look for a lasting solution to rehabilitate the river system of the province should they emerge victorious in the May 9 polls.
“Kausap namin ang mga bishops at hahanapan natin ng solusyon ang pag-aayos ng problema ng Marinduque river or the Boac River,” Pangilinan told a huge crowd of supporters who attended the People’s Rally at the Marinduque Sports Complex here.
Pangilinan is apparently referring to the 1996 disaster when a badly-sealed drainage tunnel in Marcopper Mining’s Taipan pit burst, discharged 1.6 million cubic meters of toxic mine tailings that blocked Boac River, flooded villages, and killed marine life.
“Naalala ko nang kami’y bumibisita pa dito noong kami ay grade school pa. Nagsi-swimming pa kami diyan sa Boac River, puede pa noon,” recalled the senator whose maternal relatives, the Nepomucenos, are from this town.
Aside from rehabilitating Marinduque’s riverways, Pangilinan, along with Vice President Robredo, met with provincial officials to discuss Republic Act 11321 or the Batas Sagip Saka.
Under Batas Sagip Saka which he authored, farmers and fisherfolk can now sell their products directly to different national government agencies and local government units at the right price without the need for public bidding.
“Ngayon, binibili na ng pamahalang lokal dito sa Marinduque ang produkto ng ating mga magsasaka at mangingisda sa tamang presyo at di binabarat,” he said.
Through this, the income of both farmers and fisherfolk will substantially improve, helping boost the local economy as well.
“Pag maganda na ang kita ng magsasaka at mangingisda, magtatanim at manghuhuli na sila ng marami at sa ganon ay bababa na ang presyo ng pagkain sa merkado,” Pangilinan said.