Building a better future for our fellow Filipinos

This Labor Day, we recognize the invaluable contributions of our workers in our pandemic and economic recovery. It is, therefore, critical that we continue to provide all necessary support that government can extend to them now such as livelihood support and more job opportunities, especially at the grassroots.

As Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, I am also concerned with how the rising temperatures of summer and recurring power outages in some parts of the country affect the health and comfort of our workforce, students, and the rest of our people. While it is ideal for everyone to stay indoors when the heat outside is so intense, we cannot, however, prevent some of us from going to work and school.

I urge everyone to be cautious with prolonged exposure to the heat. I also appeal to workplace managers to ensure the safety and comfort of their employees. We are also thankful to the leadership of the Department of Education for giving authority to school officials to shift to modular and online learning, when necessary, to protect also our school children.

Meanwhile, we have also continued visiting various communities in need to provide aid and personally check on the infrastructure projects, Malasakit Centers, and Super Health Centers.

On 24 April, I personally led the distribution of assistance for 1,000 indigent residents in San Carlos City, Pangasinan, and 1,000 struggling kababayans in Gen. Mamerto Natividad, Nueva Ecija. Being an adopted son of both provinces, I am grateful for the opportunity to serve.

As Chair of the Senate Committee on Sports, I also personally conveyed my support to our national athletes as I joined their send-off ceremony in Pasay City for the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia on 5-17 May.

The following day, I went to Antique to join the groundbreaking of the SHC in Sibalom town and led a relief operation for 1,308 of its residents. In San Jose de Buenavista, Antique, I joined the groundbreaking ceremony for the town’s SHC and assisted 1,000 indigents. I checked on the operations of the Malasakit Center at the Angel Salazar Memorial General Hospital and aided 232 patients and 935 front liners. Around 1,000 indigents in San Remigio, Antique were also given aid. The Department of Social Welfare and Development extended financial aid to the patients and 98 qualified personnel.

In Pasig City, we aided 309 fire victims on 26 April. I also attended the Vice Mayors’ League of the Philippines and the Philippine Councilors League of Cotabato province Seminar Workshop in Davao City.

I attended the groundbreaking of the Ubay SHC in Bohol and led the aid distribution to 1,000 indigents on 27 April. At the Malasakit Center in Don Emilio del Valle Memorial Hospital, we assisted 362 patients and 543 front liners. This is apart from the DSWD’s financial aid to qualified patients and 72 qualified hospital personnel. In Talibon town, we inspected the town’s SHC and provided aid to 1,000 residents.

Meanwhile, in support of local infrastructure development, I graced the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the newly constructed barangay hall and inspected new local and farm-to-market roads in Barangay Tambo, Island Garden City of Samal in Davao del Norte on 28 April. As Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, I advocated and supported the funding for these local infrastructure projects. We also aided 1,100 indigent Samaleños that day.

I attended the 26th anniversary of the National Federation of Motorcycle Clubs Inc. in Davao City on 29 April as support to its members and the community. I reminded them to always prioritize road safety while actively promoting their sport as a way to keep the youth away from vices like illegal drugs.

Finally, I attended the groundbreaking of the Bago SHC in Negros Occidental and provided aid to 1,000 indigents. We also helped 1,000 residents in La Carlota City and joined its 41st Pasasalamat Festival together with Vice Governor Jeffrey Ferrer, Rep. Juliet Ferrer, Mayor Rex Jalando-on, and other local officials.

My outreach teams assisted 320 indigents in Malolos City; 35 patients in Sta. Maria; 33 families in Paombong, Bulacan; 186 in Santo Tomas, Pampanga; 437 in Victoria, Tarlac; 23 in Atimonan, Quezon; 500 in Gitagum, Misamis Oriental; 1,000 in General Natividad, Nueva Ecija; and 100 in Baler, Aurora. Fire victims also received aid, including 23 in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan; six in Iligan City, Lanao del Norte; one family in Tarlac City, Tarlac; another in Mabalacat, Pampanga; 30 in Cotabato City; 12 in Malapatan, Sarangani; 16 in General Santos City; 49 in Davao City; and seven in San Jose, Nueva Ecija.

As another SHC broke ground in President Roxas, Cotabato, I laud the successful construction and turnover of the Salug, Zamboanga del Norte public market which we supported.

It is an honor for me to be able to continue extending help to our fellow Filipinos, especially the needy, the hopeless, and the helpless. I am humbled that the Fraternal Order of Eagles- Philippine Eagles acknowledged our efforts with the “Most Exemplary Philanthropic Leader of the Nation” award during its first Gawad Agila Awards on 29 April.

I have always believed that true leadership is about service to others. I hope that we all continue to develop a deep sense of camaraderie as we work towards a common goal of building a better and brighter future for our country, our workers, and the rest of our fellow Filipinos.

Isang mapagpalayang Araw ng mga Manggagawa!

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