President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Thursday led the ceremonial distribution of various government assistance worth PHP53.48 million to beneficiaries in Pili town, Camarines Sur province, reassuring locals that his administration will continue providing aid for as long as it is necessary.
“Kaya kami nandito ay…tinitiyak namin na patuloy pa rin ang pagbigay ng tulong sa mga nangangailangan (We’re here because…we want to make sure that the government continues to provide help to those in need),” Marcos told guests at the Fuerte CamSur Sports Complex.
He acknowledged that the country is slowly recovering from the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, but noted that challenges such as controlling inflation, remain.
Marcos said this is where government aid such as the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) and the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged Workers (TUPAD) program come in.
He said the government is also launching programs such as the “Kadiwa ng Pangulo” caravan in different parts of the country to give consumers access to cheaper goods and provide micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) with a direct market for their products.
Meanwhile, Marcos expressed hope anew that the day would come when the government would no longer need to provide assistance to vulnerable sectors.
“Sana dumating na ‘yung araw na kayong lahat ay masasabi ninyo na maganda na ‘yung naging puwesto ninyo, mayroon na kayong trabaho na maaasahan at hindi na kailangan ng assistance galing sa gobyerno dahil maayos na ang ating ginagawa para sa buong ekonomiya (I hope the day will come when all of you can say that your life is okay, you now have a good job and no longer need assistance from the government because we have done a good job for the economy),” he added.
According to the Presidential Communications Office (PCO), Marcos and the DOLE awarded some PHP26.5 million worth of financial assistance to nearly 4,000 beneficiaries of the TUPAD program and the DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program.
He and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) distributed 36 sewing kits and 64 baking and food processing kits to 100 MSME beneficiaries. Each livelihood kit is worth between PHP9,000 to PHP10,000 or almost PHP1 million.
Likewise, some 10 MSMEs got loans from SB Corporation, ranging from PHP30,000 to PHP 3 million.
Marcos, who also heads the Department of Agriculture (DA), distributed fertilizer discount vouchers worth PHP6,600 each to 1,371 rice farmers for a total of PHP9.048 million.
Around 1,500 rice farmers received assistance worth PHP5,000 each or a total of PHP7.5 million.
On top of the financial assistance, Marcos also handed several farm machinery to the beneficiaries such as harvesters, transplanters and trucks.
Around 31 beneficiaries received the DA’s Fuel Assistance Program for corn and cassava farmers worth PHP3,000 each or a total of PHP93,000.
Some 80 fisherfolk cooperatives and associations received 30-foot, and 20-foot fiberglass boats, amounting to PHP6.34 million from the DA’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).
The Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech) contributed to 12 farmers’ cooperatives and associations rice combine harvesters, walk-behind transplanters and two rice mills and five dryers.
The Sugar Regulatory Authority (SRA) also contributed a hauling truck worth PHP3 million to a farmer cooperative.
As of March 16, the PCO said the Marcos administration has distributed a total of PHP832.7 million worth of financial and logistical assistance to farmers and fisherfolk associations and cooperatives in the country, benefitting some 137, 418 individual farmers nationwide. (PNA)