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'BURST OF HOPE': PBBM's visit assures Aklanons of government aid

Neither the heat of the sun nor the long hours of traversing the road from the outskirts of town can outshine the hope that the highest leader of the country has brought on his first visit to the province.

Mary Joy Faigani, of Barangay Gibon, Nabas, Aklan maintained a happy face despite the prevailing heat inside the Tangalan Sports and Cultural Center in Tangalan, Aklan early afternoon of October 6.

She was waiting for the arrival of President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. in Tangalan, the second venue of his first-ever visit to Aklan after becoming the highest official of the land.

Faigani said she and her 84 other barrio mates from Gibon proceeded to Tangalan to receive their pay from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) under the Tulong Pangkabuhayan Para sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Worker or TUPAD program, and the President had been said to hand the check ceremonially during the program.

“Nag-arkila kami it tricycle agud makaabot idya. Kon indi namon mabaton ang bayad sa amon hay indi man namon ro driver mabayran (We hired a tricycle to get here. If we do not receive our pay today, we will not be able to pay the tricycle driver too),” Faigani said.

Faigani and company were already standing as the venue was already full, with the seats in the middle and the bleachers on all sides occupied by the people, mostly clad in red. They did not mind standing though, as they believed they would receive the pay they worked for – they cleaned the surroundings in 

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. (second from right) hands the ceremonial check to a representative of beneficiaries of the TUPAD Program of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in Tangalan, Aklan on Oct. 6, the second venue of his first-ever visit to Aklan as President.

their barangay for 10) days at P450.00 per day, as they were told, and if the President arrived, each of them from Gibon, Nabas will get P4,500.00.

Sitting near them was Rogelio Tejada of Makato, Aklan. He is also waiting for President Marcos, Jr. and his townmates whose houses were destroyed by Tropical Storm Ursula on December 24, 2019, he expects to receive P5,000.00 from the National Housing Authority (NHA) under its Emergency Housing Assistance Program (EHAP).

Two fishermen from Makato, Aklan who received 30 footer Fiber Glass Boat each from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) pose in front of their newly-acquired livelihood assistance personally turned over to them by President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. during his visit in Tangalan, Aklan.

According to the NHA, 5,301 houses in Makato were partially and totally destroyed, leaving residents displaced without decent housing on that fateful day of December 24.

For the affected families, a total of P26,505,000.00 was set for distribution at the said venue on October 6 by no less than the President himself and Rogelio was one of the lucky ones to receive the said assistance.

“Mayad man ron kon hibaton namon ro bulig ngaron (It will be good if we receive such assistance),” he said when asked how he feels that he will be receiving the financial help.

The town of Makato is adjacent to Tangalan, which one would pass first if he or she is coming from Kalibo.

After his first engagement at the Augusto B. Legaspi (ABL) Sports and Cultural Center to distribute 1,000 sacks of rice to recipients and other assistance from agencies like the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Department of Agriculture (DA), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and others, President Marcos, Jr. indeed arrived, and all those waiting recipients were all smiles.

They clapped heartily when the president, in his speech, told them that his administration would further improve agriculture and fishing, including tending livestock.

Aklanon recipients of various government assistance filled the Tangalan Sports and Cultural Center in Tangalan, Aklan during President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.'s visit to the province on Oct. 6, 2023.

To improve their catch or enhance the fishing industry in Aklan, 16 fishermen from Makato and Ibajay, Aklan will be taking on the challenge, as each of them, during the President’s visit, received Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic (FRP) fishing boats complete with engines and accessories from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).

The boats were formally turned over to them by the President himself before entering the venue, as the 30-footer boats were positioned outside.

One recipient, Carlito Pelayo, was ecstatic upon receiving his boat.

“Mabahoe gid nga bulig kamon ra ay nasamad gid it Bagyong Ursula ro amon nga baroto. Mapag-on rayang fiber glass boat – indi a ra masamad-samad, ag pati ro among mga apo hay makagamit pa kara (This fishing boat will be a big help to us because our fishing banca was totally destroyed by Typhoon Ursula. This fiberglass boat is durable and this will never be destroyed, even our grandchildren will be able to use this),” Pelayo said.

His gratitude was echoed by Leomar Pelayo, another recipient from Makato, Aklan.

A senior citizen already, he was very excited to use the fishing boat that was personally turned over to him by the President.

Amid the different kinds of stories they carry, the people were more than willing to bear the heat, inside and outside the Tangalan Sports and Cultural Center as the burst of hope transpired among the Aklanons with the abounding government support they received from the President. (AGP/VGV/PIA Aklan)

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Venus Villanueva


Region 6

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