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A Lifeline of Hope: Capiznons thank PBBM

Embarking on a journey, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. left an indelible mark on Capiznons when he visited the province of Capiz on Oct. 6, 2023. 

With the Secretary of Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Rex Gatchalian and the Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Health (DOH), Technical Education Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC), and Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), all government services and assistance were drawn closer to the people. 

President Marcos during his visit in Capiz.

“Dumayo po ulit kami dito ngayon upang personal na maghatid ng libreng bigas sa mga minamahal nating Capiznon upang makabawas sa inyong alalahanin sa pagkain (We came here today to personally deliver free rice to our beloved Capiznons to reduce your worries about food),” Marcos stated during his speech.

Yolanda Bagona in the middle together with her fellow senior citizens and 4Ps beneficiaries from Brgy. Olotayan, Roxas City.

Yolanda Bagona, a senior citizen from Roxas City, expressed her gratitude to the government and President Marcos for the DSWD-Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) assistance that immensely helped her family. 

“Ginapasalamatan gid namon sing dako, kay ako wala ako sang asawa kag duwa man lang kami gapangabuhi sang akon nga apo. Kada bulan, P3,800.00 ang nabaton namon kag gina gamit namon ina sa amon pagkaon kag sa iya eskwelahan. Kay sa edad ko nga 71 years old, ga ubra ako bilang kabulig (I am grateful because at the age of 71, I am still working as a house helper because it is just me and my grandchild. We receive P3,800.00 monthly and we use that for our food and his school needs),” Bagona said.

Bagona also noted that the rice the government has provided will last for one month. 

“Gapasalamat gid ako sing dako kay personal gid nga ginhatag ni President Marcos kag sa DSWD ginapasalamatan gid namon sing dako para sa amon nga bugas (I am very thankful to President Marcos who personally handed the rice, as well as to the DSWD for the rice assistance),” Bagona added. 

The 4Ps program offers monetary assistance to the poor to meet their immediate need for a short-term decrease in poverty. It is a national government initiative for human development that invests in the health and education of impoverished families, especially those with young children aged 0–18. 

The recipients of rice are 4Ps beneficiaries who are considered by the Social Welfare Development Indicator (SWDI) as part of the Survival (Level 1) and Subsistence (Level 2). 

Of the 1,000 beneficiaries, 679 were also affected by the red tide contamination. 

Further, the DSWD also distributed P1.785 million worth of Seed Capital Fund (SCF) to organize six Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) Associations in the province, which are engaged in catfish production, balot production, railing, community enterprise, and abaca trading.

The SLP continues to be the DSWD-led livelihood capability-building program for poor, vulnerable, and marginalized sectors to help them improve their socio-economic conditions. 

Ruby Baldos from Brgy. Vizcaya, in President Roxas town, has been a 4Ps recipient since 2010. She stated that being a recipient has greatly helped to support her kids in school. Some are already in senior high school, and others have already graduated high school. 

Baldos also thanked President Marcos and the DSWD chief for the livelihood assistance of P165,000.00 for their Hanglid Viscaya Livelihood Association to create their community store.

Ruby Baldos, representative of or their Hanglid Viscaya Livelihood Association, receives the P165,000.00 mock check from President Marcos for the creation of their community store in President Roxas town.

Moreover, 19-year-old Geraldo Tulio is among the 240 beneficiaries of the TESDA National Certificate (NC) II scholars in the province. 

Tulio is taking a hospitality management course, and he said that he also took the TESDA course during his free time because some of the companies he wants to apply to in the future require an NCII.

"When you are applying for a job here in Roxas City in a fast food restaurant, they require you to have an NC II, and it is a big help for us to be a TESDA scholar because the tuition fee is free," Tulio added. 

Aside from him, Roselle Roxas, a Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET) passer, is also one of the TESDA scholars. 

Geraldo Tulio, beside President Marcos and Roselle Roxas at the end, together with their fellow TESDA scholars receive the P1,195,560.00 mock check from the President.

“Nag-avail ako sang course sa TESDA kay free siya kag nakita ko nga maayo ang benefit kag para magamit ko ang NCII kung mag sagap ako sang ubra habang ga hulat pa ako sang iya sang DepEd (I availed the TESDA course because it is free and I also saw its benefits when looking for a job while waiting for my DepEd opportunity),” Roxas said. 

Tulio and Roxas also thanked the President because he visited the province. They are also grateful for the opportunity from the TESDA.

“For sure sa tanan sa amon nga mga TESDA beneficiaries magamit gid ni namon sa paghinyo sang amon ubra kag mabuligan ang amon pamilya (I know that all of us, the TESDA beneficiaries, can use this knowledge and the certificate in looking for a job to help our families),” Roxas added. 

The province was affected by the African Swine Fever, red tide contamination in its coastal areas, the El Niño phenomenon, and numerous flooding and typhoons in 2023.

By directly delivering the services and assistance, the visit of the President to extend various assistance only affirms the demonstration of inclusivity and ensures that no one is left behind.

Truly, it sends a strong message to the beneficiaries that there is always a lifeline of hope in life's challenges. (AGP/PLF/PIA Capiz) 

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Pia Lorraine Francisco

Information Officer

Region 6

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