SAN Antonio, Nueva Ecija -- Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos’ visit to Nueva Ecija where she barnstormed a city and three southernmost Nueva Ecija towns on Wednesday was like a trip down memory lane.
Marcos, the eldest daughter of the late strongman and former President Ferdinand E. Marcos and ex-First Lady and now-Ilocos Norte 2nd dist. Rep. Imelda Romualdez-Marcos, flew to this first-class town and reminisced about the past coming to their “favorite province” here in Central Luzon with her family.
She said she feels exuberant coming over again as she remembered visiting Nueva Ecija every now and then even during her time as Kabataang Barangay chairperson because it is the place “closest to the heart” of her late father then-President Marcos.
“Paboritong-paborito ng Tatay ko ang probinsiya po ninyo sapagkat sa kanya ito na ang kalagitnaan, ang tunay na puso ng buong Pilipinas. At para kay Presidente Ferdinand Marcos, ito na ang puso at diwa ng kanyang pamahalaan,” the governor told her audience gathered at the full-packed and air-conditioning system-equipped Dr. Jose Lapuz Salonga gymnasium at the municipal hall here on Wednesday.
During her arrival at past noon, Gov. Marcos was warmly welcomed by Mayor Arvin C. Salonga, members of the Sangguniang Bayan led by Vice Mayor Julie Maxwell, Atty. Hilario Ortiz, municipal administrator, other municipal, barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan officials, purok leaders, senior citizens, and members of the Department of Education.
Dressed in a black blouse, red jogging pants with matching red/blue sneakers, the governor then ate lunch over sinampalukang manok and other native dishes with Mayor Salonga and other town officials including Quezon town Vice Mayor Dean Joson at the mayor’s office.
In her speech, Gov. Marcos turned nostalgic about the “pet programs and accomplishments” initially launched by her late father in the province which mostly concerned the welfare of the farmers.
She identified one of them as Presidential Decree No. 27 (Land Reform Law) which she said was cited by Mayor Salonga himself during the latter’s earlier speech.
She also talked about the Green Revolution which was launched under the name Masagana 99 and was aimed to produce 99 cavans of rice per hectare that was necessary to make the country self-sufficient in terms of rice supply, the so-called miracle rice which increased the average national rice yield by 30 percent, and the mammoth Pantabangan Dam that was erected in 1974 and which became operational in 1977 to serve as one of the largest dam in Southeast Asia during that time.
“Kaya lahat ng programa, bawat isa ay inilunsad po dito kasama kami sampu ng pamilya namin lagi po kami narito katulad ng binanggit ni mayor na PD 27 ang land reform, ang pagbibigay ng lupa sa walang lupa, kasama ang pagtatatag ng Green Revolution sa ilalim ng Masagana 99 kaya balik Nueva Ecija na naman kami, pagkatapos nito ang miracle rice naman ang kauna-unahang hybrid rice noong panahon na iyon, gayundin ang paghuhukay sa pag-uumpisa ng irrigation sa Pantabangan Dam na noong panahon na iyon ay ang pinakamalaking patubig sa buong Asya,” the governor said.
Marcos, who is now on her third and final term as Ilocos Norte governor is reportedly seeking a Senate seat in 2019. She landed in the so-called “winner’s circle” in Pulse Asia’s latest Ulat ng Bayan survey for the 2019 senatorial polls where she rose to the 7th to 11th places.