A labor leader on Thursday vowed to scrutinize the national budget if he becomes President to ensure that government funds are used for social services amid a coronavirus pandemic. 

Leodegario “Ka Leody” de Guzman, who is running under the Partido Lakas ng Masa, also pledged to support local farmers and fishermen to ensure food security. He would also realign infrastructure funds to help government agencies fight the coronavirus. 

The labor leader told the ABS-CBN News Channel he would welcome probers from International Criminal Court (ICC), which is investigating human rights violations involving President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s war on drugs. 

The state should solve the root causes of illegal drugs — hunger, poverty and unemployment — to lessen criminality, he added. 

In a separate statement, Mr. de Guzman also vowed to solve rising electricity rates by tapping renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. 

“The masses, even businesses, complain of high electricity rates,” he said in an e-mailed statement. “Electricity is expensive because it is sourced from imported fuels, making them vulnerable to fluctuations in the world market and the exchange rate between the peso and the dollar.” 

“Renewable energy sources, like the sun and the wind, are free. Billionaires earn a lot from dirty energy sources so cleaner and cheaper electricity is restricted,” he added. 

Meanwhile, presidential bet Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. said the country should fully explore renewable energy resources to ensure sufficient but low-cost power supply. 

The Philippines is rich in renewable energy resources that could provide more than sufficient power supply once explored and tapped properly, the former senator, who is running under the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas said in an e-mailed statement on Friday. 

“We must explore other energy resources, like wind, solar, hydro, biomass, geothermal and ocean energy sources,” he said. “We have to break our dependence on imported crude oil for our households and industries to enjoy low-cost and uninterrupted power supply.” — Russell Louis C. Ku 



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