508 victims of fires and other natural disasters in Baranggay Apokon, Tagum City, Davao del Norte were the recipients of aid and assistance.
The beneficiaries received meals, vitamin packs, masks and face shields from staff members of the office of Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, who carried out the distribution process at the Energy Park in Brgy. Apokon.
Selected recipients were also given shoes while others received bicycles to help them travel amid limited public transportation options. Go’s team also gave away computer tablets to help those with children who are studying under the blended learning approach being implemented in schools.
All the necessary health protocols were put in place during the activity, which was conducted in batches, to ensure the safety of the attendees amid the ongoing pandemic.
During the event, the Department of Social Welfare and Development gave livelihood assistance grants to the beneficiaries under the agency’s Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP). Go urged them to use the assistance properly by starting their own small businesses.
“Maraming salamat po sa DSWD para sa programang SLP-LAG. Ito ay isang livelihood assistance grant na bibigyan ng kapital ang ating mga kapatid para turuang mag-negosyo at paano mapalaki pa ang negosyo,” explained Go in a video message.
“Pakiusap lang namin sa inyo, gamitin ninyo itong kapital sa tama. Palakihin ninyo at ang kita ay dalhin ninyo sa inyong mga pamilya. Mahirap ang panahon ngayon. Mayroon pa tayong krisis at hindi man lahat ay masagot ng gobyerno, narinig namin na gusto niyong magnegosyo, kumita at palakahin ninyo ito kaya dalhin ninyo sa inyong pamilya ang inyong kita,” he added.
The families are also expected to receive further assistance from the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Labor and Employment once the agencies have verified those eligible for their various programs.
The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority also offered scholarship grants and livelihood trainings.
The Senator also offered to help beneficiaries who are in need of medical attention but do not have the means to pay. He advised them that they could conveniently avail of medical assistance from government through the Malasakit Center nearest them, such as the one located at the Davao Regional Medical Center in Tagum City or at the Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City.
He also thanked local officials for their untiring service to the community, led by Governor Edwin Jubahib, Mayor Allan Rellon and Vice Mayor Eva Lorrane Estabillo.
“Marami pong nawalan ng trabaho, marami pong nagsara na negosyo, marami pong apektado ngunit kailangan muna nating magtulungan po. Mga kababayan ko, kaunting tiis lang po, malalampasan din po natin ito kapag nagtulungan at nagmalasakit po tayo sa ating kapwa Pilipino,” he ended.
On September 4 last year, Go’s office also distributed aid to the victims of three separate fire incidents in Brgy. Mankilam and Brgy. San Miguel, Tagum City.
Noting that low-income communities have an increased risk of fire incidents, Go has been urging local authorities to boost their information awareness campaign in order to better educate residents on fire safety and prevention measures.
In 2019, he introduced Senate Bill No. 204 which directs the Bureau of Fire Protection to implement a modernization program which will include the acquisition of modern fire equipment, hiring of more personnel, and the provision of specialized training programs.