KIDAPAWAN CITY – The “convergence team” from government line agencies led by Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go delivered here Saturday afternoon some PHP7 million worth of assistance and projects to vulnerable sectors affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
The grants include a PHP2.7-million cash assistance to small-scale vendors funded by the senator’s office through the Department of Social Welfare and Development in Region 12 under the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) program.
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 PHP1 million for affected workers under the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Disadvantaged (TUPAD) program.
For its part, the Department of Agriculture has set the turnover soon of a PHP3-million trading post for agro-products under the Enhanced “Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita” (Kadiwa) program, and to offer Kapital Axcess 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.
Also, 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.
In support of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, the senator led 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 the brief program held at the Kidapawan City Central Pilot School mini-theatre around 4 p.m., Go surprised the city vendors’ association members by giving them grocery packs, medicines, 25 bicycles, 25 computer tablets, wheelchairs, crutches, walkers to persons with disabilities and pairs of shoes for the men and women.
“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 said 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 personally expressed her commendation to 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 hastening of the rehabilitation of government facilities damaged by the series of strong tremors in 2019, and the completion of relocation sites for the quake-affected families in Makilala and Tulunan towns.
The North Cotabato provincial government is set to ink a memorandum of agreement with the national government to start the operation of the newly-established Malasakit Center at the North Cotabato Provincial Hospital to assist the less fortunate in their medical treatment.
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. (PNA)