CITATION FOR 5 RESCUERS. Speaker Martin Romualdez presents a copy of House Resolution No. 16 to the relatives of five Bulacan rescuers at his office at the House of Representatives on Tuesday (Oct. 11, 2022). Aside from commendation, the immediate family of the five rescuers who died at the height of Super Typhoon Karding, also receive financial aid and other assistance. (Photo courtesy of Office of Speaker Martin Romualdez)

MANILA – Speaker Martin Romualdez on Tuesday presented to the next of kin of the five fallen Bulacan rescuers a copy of House Resolution No. 16 honoring their heroic deed, as well as a slew of financial and other assistance for each family.

Adopted last Sept. 28, the resolution recognized the bravery of Narciso Calayag Jr., Jerson Resurreccion, Marby Bartolome, George Agustin, and Troy Justin Agustin, who all died performing their duty to save people’s lives in Barangay Kamias, San Miguel, Bulacan during the onslaught of Super Typhoon Karding.

“The five rescuers gave their lives in the service of others, thus, they are worthy of commendation and emulation by all Filipinos as they exuded heroism, patriotism, bravery, and dedication to public service,” the resolution read.

“While in the conduct of their rescue mission, the rescuers were wading through the flood when a wall collapsed on them and were dragged away by the raging flood. Because of the strong current of the flash flood that swept them, none of the five rescuers survived,” it added.

The five men were part of a rescue team of the Bulacan Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO).

Romualdez received the families of the Bulacan rescuers at his office at the House of Representatives where he handed them the copy of the House resolution and the financial assistance.

He also said the Office of the Speaker, in partnership with Tingog party-list through Representative Yedda Marie Romualdez, would likewise provide additional forms of assistance to the families of the Bulacan five.

These include medical and burial assistance, educational assistance in the form of laptops and scholarship programs for studying members of their families, job opportunities, and livelihood program packages.

During the brief ceremony, Romualdez reiterated his gratitude and admiration to the rescuers’ dedication to their duty, and performing their task without hesitation to save others even at the risk of their own lives.

“We will not forget your sacrifice and heroism, Narciso Calayag Jr., Jerson Resurreccion, Marby Bartolome, George Agustin, and Troy Justin Agustin. We will keep you in our prayers,” Romualdez said.

Speaking on behalf of the kin of the fallen Bulacan rescuers, Michelle Resurreccion, wife of team leader Jerson Ressurecion, thanked the House of Representatives and everyone for the outpouring of support and assistance they received, as well as the recognition of the ultimate sacrifice of their loved ones.

“Sa lahat po ng tulong na bumuhos at aming natanggap, at ngayon po sa parangal at tulong na inyong pinagkaloob dito sa Kongreso, taos-puso po ang pasasalamat namin. Salamat po sa pagpapahalaga sa sakripisyong ginawa nilang lima (For all the outpouring of support that we received, and now the honor and assistance that you bestowed here in Congress, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Thank you for recognizing their sacrifices),” she said.

Michelle also took the opportunity to appeal to the lawmakers to provide better benefits for all personnel tasked to respond to emergency situations and times of calamity.

“Kung ang buhay po ng lima naming mahal sa buhay ang magiging kapalit upang mapabuti ang mga nagbubuwis ng buhay sa panahon ng sakuna ay buong puso namin tatanggapin basta po sana hindi mawalan ng saysay ang kanilang sakripisyo (If the lives of our beloved ones will lead to better conditions for those who risk their lives in times of disaster, and for as long as their sacrifices would not be for naught, then we wholeheartedly accept their fates),” she added.

House Resolution 16 was introduced by Speaker Romualdez, House Majority Leader and Zamboanga City Rep. Manuel Jose "Mannix" M. Dalipe, House Minority Leader and 4Ps party-list Rep. Marcelino Libanan, senior Deputy Majority Leader and Ilocos Norte Rep. Ferdinand Alexander "Sandro" A. Marcos, and Tingog party-list Reps. Romualdez and Jude A. Acidre.

HR 16 was consolidated with 12 other resolutions, namely HR Nos. 414 of Bulacan Rep. Salvador A. Pleyto; 416 of Cavite Rep. Ramon Jolo B. Revilla III; 427 of Benguet Rep. Eric G. Yap, Davao City Rep. Paolo “Pulong” Duterte, and ACT-CIS party-list Reps. Edvic Yap, Jeffrey Soriano, Jocelyn P. Tulfo, as well as Quezon City Rep. Ralph Wendel Tulfo; 428 of Citizens Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC) Partylist Rep. Eduardo “Bro. Eddie” Villanueva; 429 of Bulacan Rep. Ambrosio Cruz; 432 of Lordan G. Suan, and Misamis Oriental Reps. Christian S. Unabia and Yevgeny Vincente B. Emano; 435 of Pinuno Partylist Rep. Ivan Howard A. Guintu; 437 of Quezon City Rep. Juan Carlos "Arjo" C. Atayde; 438 of Bulacan Rep. Lorna C. Silverio; 442 of Parañaque City Rep. Gus Tambunting; 443 of Deputy Speaker and Batangas Rep. Ralph Recto; and 447 of Bulacan Reps. Danny A. Domingo and Augustina Dominique "Ditse Tina" C. Pancho. (PNA)