ASSISTANCE. President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. (4th from left) gives a certificate for financial assistance to affected families of Severe Tropical Storm Paeng to Antique Governor Rhodora J. Cadiao (next to PBMM) in a ceremony held at the old capitol building on Tuesday (Nov. 8, 2022). Cadiao said Antique is close to the heart of the president who came to the province to distribute assistance and conduct an assessment of the damage of the weather disturbance that lashed the province on Oct. 28. (PNA photo by Annabel Consuelo J. Petinglay)

SAN JOSE DE BUENAVISTA, Antique – Antique Governor Rhodora J. Cadiao and residents hit by Severe Tropical Storm Paeng felt relieved when no less than President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Tuesday arrived here bringing various assistance to be able to recover.

"The president by coming to Antique despite of his busy schedule has shown his commitment to help our small province that always had been close to his heart," Cadiao said in an interview.

She said the Chief Executive held the Western Visayas regional assessment of the weather disturbance in the province.

Marcos also directed the Department of Public Works and Highways to fast-track the repair of the damaged bridge in Paliwan River that connects the municipalities of Bugasong and Laua-an as well as the other old bridges for faster and easier mobility, Cadiao added.

"We have made a temporary bridge so that the people would be able to access from north to south of the province, but this is just a palliative measure," Laua-an Mayor Aser Baladjay said.

The mayor has asked for a permanent bridge to provide easy access for his residents and those coming from northern Antique to travel to the south, especially in San Jose de Buenavista, the capital town of the province and where the capitol is situated.

Meanwhile, Rowena Evan, a resident of Sibalom town, was grateful to Marcos for the family food pack, hygiene kit, and PHP5,000 cash assistance given to her by the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

Evan, who was in labor at the height of Paeng, was spared from injury when a tamarind tree fell on their house as she was brought to Rep. Ramon Maza Sr. Hospital in Barangay Catungan, in Sibalom before the accident.

"I consider my baby as an angel since without her I could have been pinned down to death," she said.

Another resident of Patnongon, Wellie Valenzuela, said his source of livelihood was destroyed because of Paeng.

"I am grateful for the livelihood package given me," he said, adding that it could help him restart his livelihood. (PNA)