CEBU CITY – At least 200 farmers and fisherfolk, as well as 30 former rebels, have benefited from a joint relief operation conducted by several government agencies for struggling communities in Bohol, a statement from the office of Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go said on Sunday.
Go personally led the distribution of meals, food packs, vitamins, face masks and face shields to the beneficiaries as he visited Dauis town, southeast of Bohol province on Friday.
He assured that support from the government would continue for vulnerable sectors, particularly farmers and fisherfolk affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
“To our countrymen here in Bohol, we and President Rodrigo Duterte are ready to serve you… don’t be shy to come to us if we can help because it is our job,” Go said in the statement.
He thanked the Boholanos for giving them the opportunity to serve, pledging not to waste the same opportunity by doing everything for service until the last day of their term.
The activity was held in batches at the municipal gym in compliance with the necessary health and safety protocols against Covid-19.
Some of the beneficiaries also received new pairs of shoes while others were provided bicycles for their daily commuting needs.
Others were given computer tablets to help their children study and access educational materials at home.
Meanwhile, 30 former members of the New People’s Army who received the aid have been listed as beneficiaries under the Barangay Development Program of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, a whole of nation approach of fighting against the five decades of rebellion in the country.
Also, personnel from the Department of Agriculture turned over new fishing boats and nets as part of an ongoing effort to assist vulnerable sectors impacted by Covid-19.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) provided each beneficiary with financial assistance in a separate distribution.
The Department of Health (DOH), in turn, handed out assorted medicines and assistive walking devices to those in need.
On the other hand, the Department of Trade and Industry and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority conducted assessments for their respective assistance programs.
Generoso Tubio, 56, one of the recipients of the aid, thanked Go for sending help to the fishermen who are reeling from dwindling catches.
To further ensure their health and well-being, the senator also assured that his office is ready to help any beneficiary with medical concerns so they can get the treatment they need.
He advised them to seek medical assistance from the Malasakit Center at the Governor Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital in Tagbilaran City or the Don Emilio del Valle Memorial Hospital in Ubay.
The center is a one-stop shop that brings together the desk representatives of the DOH, DSWD, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.
The Malasakit Center program, which Go initiated in 2019, has assisted more than two million poor and indigent patients nationwide. (PNA)