ILOILO CITY, Jan. 15 (PIA) - - The Office of Senator Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go visited again the island province of Guimaras, January 14, this time to reach out and share concern and assistance to displaced wooden-hulled crew, porters and employees in the municipalities of Jordan and Buenavista.
A team led by Bing Juaneza distributed assistance from Senator Go to 651 individuals in the said towns who have been affected by the phaseout of wooden pumpboats plying Guimaras and Iloilo to give way to the modernization of ferry services in the province.
Beneficiaries received meals, food packs, vitamins and hygiene kits during the separate activities held at Jordan Municipal Gym and Buenavista Public Market on the same day. Thirty of them also took home computer tablets and thirty more, mountain bikes.
In his interaction with the beneficiaries through a video call during the activity in Jordan, Go urged beneficiaries to take the vitamins he sent to boost their resistance and use the face mask and face shield for them to be protected against the coronavirus disease 2019.
"Nakikiusap po ako sumunod po tayo sa gobyerno, mag face mask, face shield, social distancing, hugas ng kamay dahil delikado pa po ang panahon. Huwag po kayo mag-alala mga kababayan ko, pag meron na hong vaccine, uunahin po namin ni Pangulong Duterte ang lahat na mahihirap. Uunahin po namin kayo dyan sa Jordan sa Guimaras; uunahin po naming kayo 'yong mga nagtatrabaho diyan. Konting tiis lang muna, kapit lang tayo, magtulungan muna tayo," said Go.
Go said he sent 15 bicycles that beneficiaries could use when they go to work and 15 computer tablets for the use of their children in their studies.
He also informed the beneficiaries of the Malasakit Center at the Dr. Catalino Gallego Nava Provincial Hospital.
He said they can seek financial assistance for their hospital bills from the four agencies, namely Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, Department of Health and Department of Social Welfare and Development, inside the Malasakit Center.
All the 651 beneficiaries also received P3,000 financial assistance under the Aid to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) program of DSWD 6.
Department of Trade and Industry-Guimaras, led by its OIC Provincial Director Dinda Tamayo, briefed the displaced workers from Jordan and Buenavista on the services and programs of the agency that they can avail of.
House Representative Lucille Nava and Mayor Eugene Reyes attended the activity in Buenavista, and Mayor Ruben Corpuz in Jordan.
Corpuz urged the beneficiaries to take care of, to keep the assistance they received, especially the financial assistance, and use them for essentials needs by their respective families and be grateful to President Rodrigo Duterte, Senator Go and the national government agencies who extended assistance and support to them.
Reyes likewise expressed his thanks to Senator Go and government agencies for the concern and support to affected Buenavistahanons.
Meanwhile, Wendell Montalbo, 19, of Buenavista town, could not hide his happiness after he received the mountain bike given out as he will be going home riding his new mountain bike and with relief packages for his family.
A father of two children, aged two and one-year old, Montalbo said his daily income was greatly affected by the termination of the operation of the wooden pump boats, which is his source of income for the last five years.
Currently, Montalbo said works in the construction but not on a regular basis. He added that the bike will be a big help when he goes to work and expressed his thanks to Senator Go and government agencies for the assistance provided to them.
Jordan Motorbanca Cooperative (JMBC) General Manager Johan Layson said they really appreciate all the assistance extended to them including that of Senator Go especially during this situation wherein the livelihood of the sailors has been affected.
"Sa Office po ni Senator Go, maraming salamat po sa lahat ng tulong na ipinadala ninyo sa amin, big deal po 'to kahit sa pang-araw araw na pangkabuhayan po nila," said Layson. (JSC/laf/PIA6 Iloilo)