KIDAPAWAN CITY: Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, in partnership with members of a convergence team from concerned government agencies, delivered here Saturday afternoon various forms of assistance to vulnerable sectors affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development in Region 12 under the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) program provided cash assistance to small-scale vendors.
The cash aid was personally handed over to the beneficiaries by DSWD Assistant Secretary Jade Jamolod and Rosemarie Alcebar, the provincial crisis intervention unit head.
The Department of Labor and Employment also committed separate grant for affected workers under the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) program.
For its part, the Department of Agriculture has set the turnover of a trading post for agro-products under the Enhanced “Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita” (Kadiwa) program, and to offer Kapital Access to young farmers, and an “agripreneur” package to the youth sector.
The Department of Health, meanwhile, provided personal hygiene protection kits such as alcohol, face shields, face masks, vitamins, and medicine to the beneficiaries.
The Technical Education Skills and Development Authority and the Department of Trade and Industry pledged to provide scholarship and livelihood training to poor families.
“I am bringing here today the concern and signature services of President Rodrigo Duterte,” Go told the beneficiaries and local officials, led by North Cotabato Governor Nancy Catamco.
He emphasized the government’s effort to extend all-out assistance to sectors heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Go continues to partner with the government’s convergence team in bringing various interventions to the identified market-vendors and farmer-beneficiaries in this city affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
After a brief program held at the Kidapawan City Pilot Elementary School mini-theatre at around 4 p.m., Go surprised the city vendors’ association members by distributing grocery packs, medicines, vitamins, masks and face shields, and other forms of assistance, such as bicycles, computer tablets, and shoes to select beneficiaries. He also provided wheelchairs, crutches, and walkers to persons with disabilities.
“The world has changed due to COVID-19, we need to help each other, we can hurdle this, don’t be afraid to get vaccines, fear the virus instead,” he said.
He added that COVID-19 kills and that the vaccines are the only means to bring back normalcy to both the people’s lives and the country’s economy.
Go also shunned politics by saying “we have nothing to talk about politics as long as COVID is around.”
Catamco lauded Go and the “convergence team” for the continuing support of the province’s endeavors to improve the lives of her constituents.
Catamco and Go jointly pushed for the hastening of the rehabilitation of government facilities damaged by the series of strong earthquakes in 2019, and the completion of relocation sites for quake-affected families in Makilala and Tulunan towns.
A Malasakit Center will soon be launched at the North Cotabato Provincial Hospital to assist the less fortunate in their medical bills.
The Malasakit Center is a one-stop-shop where indigent patients can access medical assistance from agencies, such as the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, the DSWD, and PhilHealth, among others.
(John Andrew Tabugoc and Edwin Fernandez/PNA/SRNY/RSP)