Few candidates grace MPSPC sponsored election forum

BONTOC, Mtn. Prov.– All candidates for vice governor, governor, and congressmen were invited but few attended.
The Social Accountability and Election Forum sponsored by the Mountain Province State Polytechnic College (MPSPC) on April 24, 2019 was a venue for the candidates to ventilate their advocacies and programs of government if elected in the positions they are aspiring for.
Only candidate for vice governor Ezra Alipit Gomez was present. Also only candidates for governor Mateo Chiyawan and Harry Dominguez, and congressional candidates Allen Ocden and Anthony Wooden appeared.
There are 3 candidates for vice governor, six for governor, and seven for congressman per the listing of those who filed their candidacies.
With the audience mostly composed of students and employees of the MPSPC, the forum could have been the venue for the candidates to express and clarify issues and concerns that cropped up along the campaign trail.
Under the guidelines issued by the higher learning institution, candidates were given a maximum of five (5) minutes to say their programs and advocacies. They were also given another five (5) minutes to cap their closing statements.
Students through the Panel Members threw questions to the candidates who were given at least two (2) minutes to answer.
Gomez explained his program of government with the acronym HONORABLE with education as his concentration.
He cited the mandated roles of the Office of the Vice Governor and promised to look into the implementation of ordinances.
Candidate for governor Mateo Chiyawan expressed his desire for strengthening the financial assistance being given to students. He classified scholarship as those that have grade requirements and income bracket qualifications while financial assistance should be given to students whether with low grades but bent on continuing their studies and must be supported.
He committed to assist graduating students to have NC II certifications from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) for them to have better chances of getting jobs here or abroad.
He also committed to do his best if given the chance as governor to help MPSPC attain “universityhood” and to support the school’s, students’ and organizations’ thrusts for leadership by providing the needed funds.
Candidates for congressman Allen Ocden centered on the eradication of corruption as the center piece of his governance.
He proposed to transfer the management of the Bontoc General Hospital from the provincial government to the Department of Health.
He said that corruption begets poverty and only eradication of corruption will make the province prosper as indicated in his tarpaulin and flyers.
He talked about insurgency as a concern in the maintenance of peace and order that leads to prosperity.
“Where corruption ends, prosperity begins”, he declared.
Anthony Wooden offered his program of governance for the eradication of poverty with infusion of more funds from the collections of the national government at the Bureau of Customs and other sources aside from the Internal Revenue Allotment.
He also underscored that he would work for barangay health workers to receive more benefits.
He advocates for autonomy in the Cordillera believing that autonomy augurs well for the eradication of poverty.
Wooden is also for the creation of new municipalities in Bauko and Paracelis. Elaborating further, he said that upper Bauko should have a separate municipality to bring services of government closer to the people. He did not cite how it could be done in Paracelis.
Afterwards, they all signed the Pledge of Commitment to fulfill their platforms if elected and to ensure a clean and honest election.
MPSPC is a non-partisan institution. Candidates were allowed to tag along a maximum of ten (10) supporters but they were not allowed to bring placards and campaign materials.**Roger Sacyaten

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