LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Two-hundred dialysis and cancer patients from this town received PHP5,000 cash assistance each on Friday.
The assistance, coursed through the Department of Social Welfare and Development, was funded by the office of Senator Lito Lapid.
Mayor Romeo Salda said the beneficiaries were assessed by the municipal social welfare office from the list provided by the local organization of cancer and dialysis patients.
Laura, a 52-year-old kidney patient who has been on dialysis treatment for three years now, said aside from the supplies needed when she undergoes treatment, she also spends for maintenance medicines.
“I am very thankful for the cash assistance. It will go a long way for the purchase of my maintenance medicines," she said in Ilocano during the payout at the municipal gymnasium.
Benguet Rep. Eric Yap said Senator Lapid has been silently providing funds that he distributes for the cash-for-work program, medical assistance, and financial assistance since he started his stint as the caretaker of the province in 2020, following the demise of elected congressman Nestor Fongwan.
He added that part of the medical fund for indigent patients at Benguet General Hospital also comes from the senator.
For his part, Lapid said the distribution of assistance is part of his advocacy to help indigent patients.
“Rest assured that we will continue to be of help to La Trinidad and the whole of Benguet whether it be for medical or financial assistance," Lapid said in his message to the beneficiaries.
Support to farmers
Lapid also assured Benguet farmers of his full support for the passage of the anti-agricultural smuggling bill.
The senator made the assurance during his visit to the La Trinidad Vegetable Trading post, which transport produce to markets nationwide.
"The livelihood of our farmers is very important because what they do feeds us all," Lapid told reporters in Filipino.
House Bill No. 9284, also known as the Anti Agri-Fishery Commodities and Tobacco Economic Sabotage Act, was passed by the House of Representatives on Sept. 27.
The smuggling of rice and other agricultural products is classified “economic sabotage" under the measure, a crime punishable by life imprisonment.
The Senate version is currently at the committee level, with Lapid as one of the principal authors and bill sponsor.
Benguet produces about 80 percent of the temperate vegetable production of the Cordillera Administrative Region.
According to the Department of Agriculture-Cordillera, an average of two million kilograms of assorted highland vegetables is traded daily, reaching Metro Manila markets and even as far as Visayas and Mindanao. (PNA)