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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Drought-hit residents in Northern Mindanao receive government aid

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President Marcos visited Iligan City on Thursday as part of his ongoing nationwide tour to deliver aid to farmers and fisherfolk affected by the El Niño phenomenon. 

He distributed P50 million in financial assistance to local government units in Northern Mindanao—P10.5 million to Iligan City, P13.9 million to Lanao del Norte, and P24.4 million to Misamis Occidental.

Speaking at the Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology, Marcos emphasized the importance of personally delivering the aid. 

“I could have delegated this task, but by doing so, I wouldn’t see your real situation and hear your concerns,” he said.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) also provided P10,000 in financial aid to 9,588 beneficiaries in Iligan City. 

Additional assistance was distributed by the regional offices of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), and the Department of Health (DOH), during the Bagong Pilipinas Serbisyo Fair (BPSF). 

Speaker Martin Romualdez distributed five kilos of rice to each affected resident in Iligan City and Cagayan de Oro City.

Last week, President Marcos visited Zamboanga City, General Santos City, and Sultan Kudarat, where he also distributed aid to El Niño-affected farmers and fisherfolk. 

He concluded by expressing his administration’s commitment to support Filipinos during both the drought and the impending La Niña.

“To my beloved Filipinos, rest assured that we will continue to go around Mindanao and other parts of the country to make sure we can deliver help and services to the people,” President Marcos said. 

“Your government is here for you at all times. In times of drought and the upcoming rainy season, we are ready to support all of you,” he added.

Meanwhile, Senator Robinhood Padilla backed a “whole of society” approach in dealing with El Niño, La Niña, and other environmental shocks that may impair agricultural activity.  

In a statement, Padilla said he wants to enhance government response to these situations by fine-tuning its information dissemination and aid distribution mechanisms.

To achieve this, Padilla filed Senate Resolution 1025, directing the Senate committee on public information and mass media, which he chairs, to inquire into the matter.

He said although the state weather agency has not been remiss in releasing El Niño and La Niña forecasts, there is a need to review historical data and identify policy gaps.

“Filipinos must be informed of up-to-date and necessary preparations and responses of the national and local government, as the public has, over the years, been taking the brunt of these environmental shocks,” he said.

The senator also pointed out a comprehensive public information drive is necessary to apprise the affected population of the government’s projects, programs and activities to help them cope with the adverse effects of this crisis.

With respect to information dissemination in all crisis-related concerns, Padilla said a whole-of-society approach must be adopted to facilitate societal inclusivity, and ensure the active participation of all sectors to improve government’s response.


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