With the two-day slew of activities benefitting Lagunenses on November 4 and 5, local officials in Laguna province have joined together in answering the call by President Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. and House Speaker Martin Romualdez to create programs that will aid the poor and most vulnerable members of society.
Congressmen could not be more effective in serving their constituencies given a leadership at the Lower House joining them in attending to the needs of the people.
This observation surfaced after House Speaker and Leyte 1st district Representative Martin G. Romualdez appeared at the launch in Laguna of programs initiated by Congress answering to the call by President Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. to create programs that will aid the poor and most vulnerable members of society.
Romualdez led the kick off ceremonies of the Cash and Rice Distribution (CARD) program in the cities of Binan and Sta. Rosa last November 5.
In that event, over 3,000 beneficiaries in Binan City and over 2,000 from Sta. Rosa City received cash benefits of P2,000.00 to P4,000.00 and 25 kilos of rice.
The Speaker also gave away as raffle prizes educational packages, motorcycles and grocery bags.
The CARD program will reach all corners of the country even as it was started in Laguna.
According to a report by the government media outfit, Philippines News Agency, CARD was conceived amid the rising cost of rice “and other challenges faced by Filipino consumers, empowering them to gain access to rice at better prices and augment their buying capacity.”
The ultimate aim of the program was to distribute rice and financial assistance to 2.5 million indigent and vulnerable Filipinos, or an average of 10,000 from each of the country's 250 legislative districts.
“Makasaysayan po ang araw na ito, hindi lamang dito sa Laguna kundi maging sa buong Metro Manila,” the Speaker said in his speech during the event.
“Alam natin na buong mundo ang nahihirapan sa pagtaas ng presyo ng bilihin dahil sa global inflation na dala ng mga digmaan sa Middle East. Dahil dito, hindi ganun kadali para sa pamahalaan na mapapababa ang presyo ng bigas dito sa atin sa Pilipinas. “Gayunpaman sinikap nating humanap ng paraan kung paano makakatulong para mapagaan ang buhay ng ating mga kababayan sa harap ng pagtaas ng presyo ng bigas at iba pang bilihin. Target po natin na mabigyan ang 10,000 benepisyaryo sa bawat distrito,” the Speaker added.
In that CARD event, local leaders joined Speaker Romualdez, notably, Ramil Hernandez, 2nd district Representative Ruth Mariano-Hernandez, Sta. Rosa Representative Dan Fernandez and Binan City Representative Len Alonte.
Bagong Pilipinas Serbisyo Fair
Romualdez was also very much a part of the “Bagong Pilipinas Serbisyo Fair” (BPSF) held by the national government in Santa Cruz, Laguna from November 4 to 5.
Notably, one of his staff – Deputy Secretary General for the Office of the House Speaker Sofronio Gabonada, Jr. – led the press conference for the two-day event at Calamba City, Laguna, which was also spearheaded by the provincial government, last November 3.
The BPSF aimed to "provide" reliable government services, with over 60 government agencies providing services to over 20,085 Lagunenses during the two-day caravan.
At the BPSF, beneficiaries had easy access to government projects and programs in the areas of social services, health and medical support, livelihood, and educational assistance, services in regulatory functions, and other bureaucratic services aimed to capacitate and benefit them.
Among the various services offered to the beneficiaries of the event included free medicines and medical services, cash assistance to various sectors, livelihood assistance, educational assistance, and even the expedition of various government documents and certificates.
According to Gabonada, an estimated P300 million have been allocated for the Bagong Pilipinas Serbisyo Fair, P100 million of which will be given across all agencies, primarily through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
"So, the economy, you have another P100 million to prime up the economy of Laguna. Not just services but also to make the economy of Laguna vibrant for the next days," the official added.
Local officials led by Governor Hernandez, on the other hand, also provided free transportation and accommodation facilities for beneficiaries from the province’s 1st and 2nd districts who had to travel to the provincial capitol to join the BPSF.
More to come
The two-day event in Laguna province is just the start of a massive “expansion” of the two programs to more provinces in the Philippines in the future, Malacanang officials said.
Laguna province, by the way, was not the first province to host the BPSF, as the program was launched simultaneously in Nabua, Camarines Sur; Monkayo, Davao de Oro; Tolosa, Leyte; and Laoag, Ilocos Norte last September 23.
“Ang programang ito ay isa lamang sa mga unang hakbangin ng pamahalaan upang magkaroon ng bagong pag-asa at bagong simula ang mga Pilipino. Magkakahiwalay man ang ating mga isla, pinagbubuklod-buklod naman tayo ng isang diwa at isang pangarap – isang bagong Pilipinas para sa bagong Pilipino,” President Marcos had said in his speech during the launch.
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