President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Monday led the distribution of cash and food assistance to 3,000 beneficiaries in Mandaue City, Cebu province, vowing to continue providing aid to the poor until they are able to stand on their own feet.
“We wanted to make sure na etong ating pinamimigay ay tuloy-tuloy pa rin hanggang dumating na yung araw, sana malapit na, na hindi na kailangan ang tulong ng pamahalaan dahil kayo na ay may trabaho, may maganda na kayong tinitirahan (We wanted to make sure that our distribution will continue until such time when you will no longer need government assistance because you already have jobs, you live in decent homes),” he said in his speech.
Under its Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) Program, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) provided PHP5,000 to each beneficiary as well as family food packs.
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), for its part, awarded livelihood grants amounting to PHP3.65 million to three cooperatives under the DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program.
It also provided livelihood assistance worth PHP4,350 each to 2,257 beneficiaries, totaling PHP9.8 million, under its Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged Workers (TUPAD).
The Department of Agriculture, which Marcos heads, distributed seeds and machinery amounting to PHP109 million to the provincial government of Cebu, apart from PHP1.08 million under its Corn Banner Program to farmer’s associations in the province.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) turned over Livelihood and Financial Assistance worth PHP8,000 to 20 recipients.
Livelihood and Financial Assistance worth PHP8,000 were also turned over by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to 20 recipients.
Meanwhile, Marcos promised that the government will continue carrying out programs and projects to lift the living conditions of all Filipinos, particularly the poor.
“The support and the affection that I received from you I have to pay back and if it takes the rest of my life, I will happily spend the rest of my life paying it back to you,” he added.
The only solution
In a media interview after the event, Marcos reiterated the importance of providing affordable and accessible housing to the poor as it is the only solution to the country’s informal settler problem.
“The only solution to informal settlers is housing. There’s really no other way to solve that problem,” he said.
Earlier in the day, Marcos attended the ground-breaking rites of the Cebu City South Coastal Urban Development housing project which is expected to benefit around 8,000 informal settler families and low-income earners in the city.
He was also a guest of honor during the launch of the “Kadiwa ng Pangulo” bazaar, which is a rebranded version of the Kadiwa ng Pasko pop-up store launched in November last year.
The Kadiwa program provides a direct farm-to-consumer food supply chain to eliminate several marketing layers and help boost the income of local agricultural producers.
He also led the ground-breaking rites of the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Project Phase 1, a 13.8-kilometer segregated lane with 17 bus stations, one depot, and a trunk terminal that is expected to cater to approximately more than 160,000 passengers daily. (PNA)