(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Friday, 24 May 2024) ๐—ง๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—ฝ๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐—น ๐—–๐˜†๐—ฐ๐—น๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ฒ #AghonPH ๐—ฎ๐—ณ๐—ณ๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—น ๐—ฝ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐˜๐˜€ ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐— ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฑ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฎ๐—ผ. ๐‹๐จ๐œ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐„๐ฒ๐ž/๐œ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐ž๐ซ: at 5:ooam this morning, at 340 km East of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur (08.6 °N, 129.4 °E ) ๐Œ๐จ๐ฏ๐ž๐ฆ๐ž๐ง๐ญ: Moving West Northwestward at 30 km/h ๐’๐ญ๐ซ๐ž๐ง๐ ๐ญ๐ก: Maximum sustained winds of 45 km/h near the center and gustiness of up to 55 km/h ๐–๐ข๐ง๐ ๐’๐ข๐ ๐ง๐š๐ฅ: as of 05:00am TCWS no.1 Dinagat Islands, Siargao Islands, and Bucas Grande Islands.

Tuesday, 03 October 2023

PBBM heedful to vulnerable islands in Caraga

By Renelle L. Escuadro

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., set his foot anew in Caraga Region on September 29, 2023 to cement his action items on food affordability and sufficiency, specifically to the disaster-prone island of Siargao and in the Province of Dinagat Islands.

As frontline in the Pacific ring of fire, these areas are at high risk on disaster, calamities and climate change, tagging these areas under the extreme affected weather category, as affirmed by Super Typhoon (STY) Odette.

With their geographic locations, and the absence of bridges and connectivity to the mainland leave everyone in the islands with the least attention on government services and economic activities, including higher prices on prime commodities and incidents of malnutrition and poverty, among others, where residents struggle almost daily on making both ends meet.

A fight against hunger and malnutrition

"Bilang Secretary ng Department of Agriculture ay katungkulan ko na pagandahin ang suplay ng pagkain at tiyakin na kahit sapat ang suplay ay 'yung presyo naman ay nasa tama para hindi nahihirapan ang taong-bayan. [As Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, it is my duty to guarantee there is food sufficiency, at the same time ensuring that food supply is affordable to everyone, as this will remove hardship among the Filipinos],” underlined by the Chief Executive, as his commitment to the enthusiastic crowd, during his presidential visit in Caraga.

With this, President Marcos Jr., attended the regional launching of the Food Strategic Transfers and Alternative Measures Program (Food STAMP), as headed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), that helped 50 beneficiaries from the towns of Dapa, Del Carmen, Sta. Monica, all in Siargao Island in Surigao del Norte.

The beneficiaries of the Food STAMP were identified as poor households using the DSWD Listahan 3 through the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction, who mostly were families with children 0-5 years old, single-parents, pregnant, and lactating mothers, who received the Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards with P3,000 credits each for six months, that would allow them to purchase rice, bread, poultry meat, fish, vegetables and other food items included in the menu of the Food Basket, as developed and certified by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute to ensure right nutrition is prepared on the table for these vulnerable families.

The program beneficiaries were able to immediately make use of the EBT card credits through the availability of the stalls under the Kadiwa ng Pangulo and other accredited retail partners.

In Siargao Island, the Women’s Association of Barangay Salvacion (WABS) served as the accredited retailer of the Department of Agriculture (DA) Caraga’s Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita, that ensured the availability and affordability of food commodities by eliminating middlemen.

“We are so overwhelmed with the activities in place today in the province of Surigao del Norte such as the regional pilot launching of the Food STAMP and the distribution of rice assistance, as personally attended by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.,” said Surigao del Norte Governor Robert Lyndon Barbers who was excited to know the pipeline programs for the province in the coming days and years, and assured the President that, together with the different agencies of the government, Surigao del Norte will continue to support the Marcos administration in all their programs for the people.

A no, no to price manipulators

Moreover, the Chief Executive personally handed over sacks of premium rice to 2,265 beneficiaries in the said island under the rice assistance program.

To complete the presidential visit, President Marcos did not waste time to wing their way and personally handed over another 1,000 sacks of rice to the ardent Listahan 3 beneficiaries in another typhoon-hit Province of Dinagat Islands.

Benita Carsolim, 77 years old, and a resident Barangay Wilson, San Jose of the said province thanked the President for visiting the place and for the distribution of rice assistance saying,

“Kalipay gyud kaayo nako nga nakabisita si Presidente Marcos Jr. ug naghatag ug bugas sa sama lang nako nga senior na para makakaon ang akong pamilya [ I am thankful that President Marcos Jr. visited us and gave rice to senior citizens like me so my family can eat well.]”

The President shared to the audience that the sacks of rice were confiscated items by the Bureau of Customs in the port of Zamboanga. This only showed that the country has sufficient rice supply, however the surge in price of commercial rice was a result of the manipulation made by hoarders and smugglers.

"Ito talaga ang ikinabibigat ng loob ko na hindi ko kayang palampasin [ These (hoarding and smuggling) gave me a heavy heart and I don’t want to tolerate this wrong]," the President candidly gave a stern warning as the campaign against hoarding and smuggling is considered an urgent priority of the Marcos Administration.

Governor Nilo P. Demerey Jr. of the Province of Dinagat Islands welcomed President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. during his visit in the island, by spotlighting the accomplishments of the province as schistosomiasis-free, malaria-fee, rabies-free, insurgency-free, drug-cleared province and a frequent recipient of the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG).

Gov. Demerey also sought help in transforming the area from a vulnerable zone of disaster, calamity and isolation to a more progressive province through the construction of Dinagat Islands airport, RoRo ports, bridges and road networks that will surely boost tourism and economic activities in the province.

"We sincerely thank you [Pres. Ferdinand Marcos Jr.] for coming here in our province and for the remarkable effort of giving sacks of rice to the Dinagatnons. Thank you for your generosity. On the other hand, I want to take this opportunity to seek support from the national government for the enhancement and improvement of access and connectivity. Please help us propel into a more digitally-capable place leading to a more progressive economy,” said the governor in a humble request to the Chief Executive.

With sincerity, PBBM was glad to see the genuine smiles and warm welcome of the Caraganons. He personally witnessed the ongoing infra rehabilitation in these badly-hit areas of STY Odette saying, “We should always remember that the rehabilitation program and process should anchor on the principle of “Build Better,” to ensure infrastructure and the community this time are already resilient. " (RLE,PIA-PDI)