CEBU CITY – Cebuano beneficiaries of various government assistance programs have shared stories of how a number of projects have benefitted them and improved their standard of living.
Some residents spoke during the Cebu leg of the “Duterte Legacy: Barangayanihan Caravan Towards National Recovery” at the Camp Sergio Osmeña Sr. here on Thursday.
Officials of different regional government agencies gathered at the Police Regional Office-7’s headquarters to participate in the caravan of programs and services organized by the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Philippine National Police (PNP).
The activity showcased real stories from the beneficiaries themselves – a legacy and embodiment of President Rodrigo Duterte's whole-of-nation approach in governance and public service and featured several activities on the ground such as a one-stop-shop of government services, social welfare assistance, livelihood grants, and educational and training opportunities, among others.
The event was simultaneously launched on Thursday in other regions of the country.
Other national government agencies, local government units and civil society organizations also participated in the nationwide launch where the people were updated on the government's programs, policies, accomplishments and efforts that have brought real positive change in the lives of the Filipinos.
In his opening message delivered through a video, PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar said the event was meant “to remember and celebrate the goals we have accomplished, the visions we have realized, the promises we have attained and the lives we have changed together”.
“It has been over five years since President Rodrigo Roa Duterte assumed leadership of our nation. An event that started a chain of positive changes in our lives through his ‘tapang at malasakit’ (courage and concern) agenda against corruption, criminalities and societal ills of our nation while ensuring economic prosperity, proactive and efficient social services and upholding of human rights aspects of governance that the previous administrations have failed to respond to,” he said.
Andanar highlighted the "Dutertenomics," 10-point socio-economic agenda, the “Build, Build, Build” program, Kalinga at Malasakit Para sa Ating Mga OFW, anti-illegal drug campaign, anti-insurgency and counter-terrorism campaign that made the country secured and stable in attaining economic prosperity, infrastructure development and effective social services.
Despite the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, he said the country has been able to attain a 6-percent gross domestic product (GDP) and economic growth and increased infrastructure spending that paved the way for more roads and transportation facilities constructed not only in Metro Manila but also in the provinces and far-flung areas.
He also underscored the administration’s social services such as the Universal Health Care law, free tuition for higher education, the institutionalization of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), and the Malasakit Centers.
The caravan in Cebu City was participated in by the Department of Labor and Employment, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, and Department of Social Welfare and Development.
Gov’t aid for Cebuanos
During the event, DOLE-7 regional director Salome Siaton turned over a PHP1.6-million check to Arcelito Pejo, chairperson of Barangay Kalawisan in Lapu-Lapu City, to be used as honorarium for 77 residents who are beneficiaries of the agency’s Integrated Livelihood Program for Informal Sector Workers.
“The informal sector workers will not receive money. Instead, they will get tools to start their respective livelihood projects,” she explained.
The workers will receive livelihood kits including those that they could use for "bangus" or milkfish production, a paddleboat, or sewing and welding tools.
Meanwhile, Nida Acapulco, a resident of Barangay Capitol Site, this city, thanked Presidente Duterte for the implementation of DOLE programs such as TUPAD (Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers).
“I am an ambulant vendor. TUPAD under the Duterte administration has helped my family a lot especially during this pandemic. Because of this program, we have experienced comfortable life,” she said in Cebuano.
Mark Glen Inocando, a beneficiary of the Special Program of the Employment of Students (SPES) of DOLE, narrated how the “legacy of success” of the Duterte administration assisted him in his bid to finish his studies.
“Although there are scholarship grant offerings, we can’t remove the undeniable fact that pursuing tertiary education will let you spend money (in) different aspects of academic life,” he said. SPES “helped me to bridge the gap of my financial lack both as a student and as a son”.
Lawyer Ian Kenneth Lucero, DILG-Cebu City chief, said the stories shared by the beneficiaries “will help us, public servants, to be motivated and inspired to do more for the country and the public”.
He assured Cebuanos that with the convergence of different government agencies, they will strive to bring more services closer to the people, a legacy that President Duterte wants to be in place even beyond his administration. (PNA)