Noli backs ‘Wednesday club’

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — Vice President Noli de Castro vowed support for the four members of the Senate’s Wednesday Club who are seeking re-election in May.

“I will support the Wednesday Club, which include Senators Joker Arroyo, Manuel Villar, Francis Pangilinan, and Ralph Recto because they are my friends since the time when I was a senator,” De Castro told reporters during the Luzon Urban Beltway Anti-Poverty Summit held at the Clark museum.

De Castro was the guest of honor and speaker at the two-day event which discussed the poverty alleviation program of the administration.

At the same time, De Castro made a pitch for the Luzon Urban Beltway, saying that the program would help the people cross the threshold of poverty and provide them with economic security.

He said there are 15 Mega Infrastructure Projects in the Luzon Urban Beltway, all geared toward spurring the development of Central Luzon, Metro Manila, Calabarzon, Mindoro and Marinduque.

He said the growth centers in the Luzon Urban Beltway will enhance economic activities especially in the depressed areas in Luzon and benefit the poor.

“We should now ensure that the kind of development we bring to the Luzon Urban Beltway is one that will truly benefit the poor,” De Castro said.

He also appealed to the media to publish what the government has accomplished so far especially he economic performance of the Arroyo administration.

De Castro also cited the government’s effort in relocating families in Pampanga displaced by the North Rail Project, adding that relocation sites are ready for the transfer of the affected families in the area.

He said that stage 2 of the railway project via Manila to Clark is under way. The Philippine government is preparing for the relocation of families living near the railway and clear the way for the Caloocan-to- Laguna section of the project.

He said the President had ordered him to start clearing the Calamba-Lucena section because there are plans to link the North Luzon Expressway to the South Luzon Expressway.