Gives aid to hundreds of struggling market vendors
In support of small businesses affected by the COVID-19 crisis, the Office of Senator Christopher “Bong” Go recently began a series of relief activities for the market vendors in Kidapawan City, North Cotabato who are struggling to stay afloat as they continue to serve as an important source of fresh, healthy and affordable food especially for ordinary Filipinos.
The first batches were held on March 17 and 18 at the Kidapawan City Pilot Elementary School covered court where a total of 438 market vendors were given meals, food packs, vitamins, medical-grade masks, and face shields by the Senator’s team.
“Mga kababayan, tandaan po natin na ang pag-iingat at kooperasyon ninyo, ang inyong pagmamalasakit sa kapwa, ay malaking parte ng ating bayanihan efforts upang malampasan ang pagsubok na ito,” Go began in a video message.
“Magpalakas tayo ng katawan at resistensya at sumunod rin tayo sa gobyerno. Gamitin natin ang mga masks, mag-social distancing at maghugas ng kamay dahil delikado pa ang panahon ngayon,” he continued.
Selected beneficiaries were also given new shoes while those facing difficulties in their daily commute received bicycles. Others were provided computer tablets to help their children with their educational activities under the blended learning approach.
Meanwhile, personnel from the DSWD also distributed cash assistance as part of a holistic set of interventions by the government for communities in crisis. The DOH gave away additional face masks while the Department of Agriculture brought seed supplies to encourage everyone to grow their own vegetables.
On the other hand, the Departments of Labor and Employment, and Trade and Industry assessed vendors seeking alternative employment and livelihood options, respectively. The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, in turn, profiled potential candidates for their scholarship grant program.
“Nagpapasalamat ako ng lubos kay Senador Bong at kay Presidente Duterte para sa mga ibinigay nilang tulong sa aming mga negosyante. Malaki ang hirap namin noong nagsarado ang aming mga tindahan. Talagang wala kaming income kaya natutuwa kami na nabigyan kami kahit kaunti man lang na tulong. Malaking bagay na ‘to sa amin. Mabuhay tayong lahat!” said Anna Evangelista, a market vendor from Barangay Lanao.
Go also offered his help to beneficiaries or their family members who need medical care. He advised them to visit their nearest Malasakit Center to access medical assistance from the government.
Malasakit Centers have been established at the Davao del Sur Provincial Hospital in Digos City; Sultan Kudarat Provincial Hospital in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat; Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City; and at other hospitals throughout the country.
Wrapping up his message, the Senator thanked Mayor Joseph Evangelista; Vice Mayor Jivy Roe Bombeo; and Councilors Melvin Lamatan, Marittess Malaluan, Gregoria Lonzaga, Ruby Padilla-Sison, Carlo Agamon, Airene Pagal, Aljo Dizon, Lauro Taynan Jr., Junares Amador, and Peter Salac for their efforts to address the needs of their constituents affected by the pandemic.
He also acknowledged Poblacion Punong Barangay Arnold Sumbling, Magsaysay Punong Barangay Julio Labinghisa, Sudapin Punong Barangay Jon Karl Sibug, and Balindog Punong Barangay Angelo Saniel for their ongoing support.
“Huwag kayong mag-alala dahil unti-unti nang dumadating ang mga bakuna. Pagkatapos ng mga medical frontliners, uunahin namin ni Pangulong [Rodrigo] Duterte ang lahat ng mga nangangailangan, gaya ng mga market vendors,” assured Go.
“Ngayon kung may maitutulong pa kami, sabihan niyo lang ang aking opisina at sa abot ng aming makakaya, tutulungan namin kayo. Walang tulog ang aming serbisyo lalo na ngayon sa panahong pinaka-nangangailangan ang mga Pilipino,” he added.
Go will also personally visit Kidapawan City this Saturday, March 20 to provide more aid to another set of beneficiaries.