More than 2,500 public market vendors in Iloilo City received assistance from Senator Lawrence Christopher “Bong” Go.
This after the Senator has acknowledged the significant role of the market vendors’ in contributing to the local economy by providing the communities with access to fresh, healthy food and other commodities despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Magpalakas kayo ng katawan at resistensya. Sumunod rin kayo sa gobyerno. Gamitin ninyo ang mga masks at face shields, mag-social distancing at maghugas ng kamay palagi dahil delikado pa ang panahon ngayon,” Go said during a video call.
He added “Ang pag-iingat at kooperasyon ninyo, ang inyong pagmamalasakit sa kapwa, ay malaking parte ng ating bayanihan efforts upang malampasan ang pagsubok na ito.”
A total of 2,597 vendors from the Arevalo Public Market, Iloilo Central Market, Jaro Small Market, Jaro Big Market, La Paz Public Market and Mandurriao Public Market were the identified beneficiaries in the distribution activity held at the Iloilo City Freedom Grandstand on December 7 and 8.
“Alam kong mahirap po ang hanapbuhay sa market ngayon. Kaya po nagpadala ako dyan ng konting tulong para sa pamilya ninyo at para rin po maprotektahan kayo dahil delikado pa ang panahon ngayon,” he explained.
His team provided each beneficiary with a meal, food pack, vitamins, medical-grade and reusable masks, and face shields. Selected beneficiaries also received bicycles for their daily work commute.
Others were given tablets so their children can participate in the online classes that are being carried out under the blended learning approach.
“Sa mga bata, pagbutihin n’yo po ang pag-aaral ninyo. Iyan po ang magpapasaya sa magulang ninyo at ang edukasyon ang magiging puhunan ninyo sa mundong ito,” Go reminded the youth.
The Senator, who is also the chair of the Senate Committee on Health, acknowledged the difficulties of working through the pandemic and promised that poor and vulnerable workers, such as market vendors, would be among the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Mga kapatid ko sa Iloilo, palagi kong panalangin ang makabalik na kayo sa normal niyong pamumuhay. ‘Wag kayong mag-alala dahil kapag may safe at epektibo na vaccine na, uunahin namin ni Pangulong [Rodrigo] Duterte ang lahat ng mga nangangailangan, gaya ng mga market vendors,” he promised.
Furthermore, Go pledged to assist any indigent beneficiary who requires urgent medical treatment or services.
He informed them that they can also conveniently avail medical assistance through the Malasakit Center at the Western Visayas Medical Center.
The Center is a one-stop shop which houses desk representatives from the Department of Health, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.
As part of government’s intervention measures for those in distress, representatives from the DSWD were also at the activity to provide each beneficiary with financial assistance to help them pay for food, shelter and utilities, among others. The Department of Agriculture and Department of Trade and Industry committed to provide additional aid based on their existing programs upon completing their assessment of the beneficiaries.
The Senator recognized and thanked Mayor Jerry P. Treñas and other local officials for leading the efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the city and for their untiring service to their communities.
“Kung may maitutulong pa kami ni Pangulo Duterte, sabihan niyo lang kami 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 reassured.
The activities were carried out in strict observance of the government-issued health and safety-protocols against COVID-19. (PIA)