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Isko to boost STEM, agri courses to make Mindanao more competitive

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Manila Mayor and Aksyon Demokratiko standard-bearer Isko Moreno Domagoso on Wednesday said that if elected president, he would invest in Science Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and Agriculture courses to enable Filipino students in Zamboanga del Sur to become competitive with other countries, as well as ensure food security in southern Philippines.

“Well as a general rule, we will invest in the STEM education program–Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics—and agriculture because (during) my travels around the Philippines I really saw the hardships of the farmers. They are the ones who feed us really hard, they are the ones who give us the assurance that what we eat is sustainable and that we are not dependent on imports,” Moreno told reporters in Pagadian City after his courtesy call on Zamboanga del Sur Gov. Victor Yu |

BLUE BALLOONS FOR ISKO. Presidential aspirant and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno greets his supporters during a motorcade around Pagadian City in Zamboanga del Sur on Wednesday. He also met with his supporters at Saint Columban College during his campaign sortie in the city. Norman Cruz

Moreno maintained that reinforcing agriculture courses in Zamboanga del Sur is very important considering that the province, like almost all of the rural provinces in the Philippines, is mostly reliant on agriculture for the bulk of its economy.

The 47-year-old presidential candidate pointed out that investing in STEM courses and in Agriculture would ensure that college students taking the course would be better equipped with the technical know-how so they can compete with their foreign counterparts.

“So STEM will be STEAM. S, T, E then there is A plus M. A is for agriculture which we will return as part of the curriculum on how people can earn a living by farming or planting,” Moreno pointed out.

Moreno said with many overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) returning hom, there is also a need to reintegrate them back into the community.

“They may have some savings or a house while others don’t have one. How can we integrate them? That’s two things, they can make a living through DTI or go back to planting, to agriculture. They need a government again and again, the Department of Agriculture. It seems that these are the things we should be thinking about rather than just the quarrels between politicians, between two families. It looks like they are the only ones,” Moreno explained.

After a four-day break from his campaign sorties, Moreno hit Zamboanga del Sur with a series of motorcades and town hall meetings as part of Team Isko’s strategy to win voters.

Joining Moreno on the campaign trail in Zamboanga, province known for its heritage and interesting natural attractions, were his running mate Dr. Willie Ong, Aksyon Demokratiko senatorial candidates Samira Gutoc, Carl Balita, Jopet Sison, and guest candidate John Castriciones of PDP-Laban.

Moreno and the rest of Team Isko were set to hold a town hall meeting at Saint Columban College Elementary Department. Later in the afternoon, they would go to Sindangan National Agricultural High School in Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte for another town hall meeting, then a motorcade before campaign rally on Sunset Boulevard.

Moreno has also vowed to pursue a “Life and Livelihood” economic policy that aims to address poverty, hunger, unemployment, inequality, and social injustice through an inclusive and equitable infrastructure development program as spelled out under his 10-point Bilis Kilos Economic Agenda.

To achieve this, Moreno pledged to continue the Build, Build Build program of President Rodrigo Duterte, but focusing on building decent public housing, modern public schools, and well-equipped, world-class hospitals across the country.

To alleviate the plight of the masses and protect industries, Moreno would work closely with Congress to reduce the taxes on two of the most basic of commodities – petroleum and electricity.

He also vowed to revive and support the MSME sector through various government interventions, as well as promote a culture of sustainable tourism by developing tourism highways and tourism circuits among others.

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