Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr hands P158-M El Niño aid in Caraga, vows quality education

2024 June 20

PRESIDENTIAL AID. President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. interacts with beneficiaries of the Presidential Assistance to farmers and fisherfolk at the Oval Surigao del Sur Complex on Thursday (June 20, 2024). In two separate distributions of assistance in the Caraga Region, the President handed over a total of PHP158 million in El Niño aid. (Presidential Photojournalists Association)

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has extended a total of PHP158.15 million in financial assistance in the Caraga Region in line with the government’s commitment to support farmers and fisherfolk affected by the dry spell.

Accompanied by some Cabinet members, Marcos visited Surigao del Sur and Butuan City on Thursday to personally extend financial assistance to El Niño-hit farmers and fisherfolk.

The President personally handed over PHP12.48 million in financial assistance to Surigao del Sur; PHP50 million to Agusan del Sur; PHP46.84 million to Butuan City; PHP28.26 million to Agusan del Norte; PHP10.57 million to Surigao del Norte; and PHP10 million to Dinagat Islands.

He also distributed PHP10,000 cash assistance each for 9,195 beneficiaries in Surigao del Sur and 4,650 beneficiaries in Agusan del Norte and Butuan City.

Each attendee also received five kilos of rice from the office of House Speaker Martin Romualdez.

Quality education

In his speech in Butuan City, Marcos vowed to turn the capital city of Agusan del Norte into the center of trade, industry and governance in Caraga, by bolstering the region’s agriculture and fishery sectors.

“Katulad ninyo, nagsisikap ang pamahalaan upang lalo pang maging matatag ang Butuan bilang sentro ng kalakalan, industriya, at pamamahala dito sa Caraga (Like you, the government is working to strengthen Butuan as the center of trade, industry, and governance here in Caraga),” Marcos said.

“[Naghandog] din [ang] ating pamahalaan ng karagdagang binhi at makinarya sa pagsasaka upang mapabuti ang inyong ani at mapagaan ang inyong hanapbuhay sa araw-araw. Patuloy din po [ang aming pagpapatupad ng] National Rice Program, ang National Corn Program, at saka ‘yung High-Value Crops Development Program sa iba’t ibang sulok ng bansa, kabilang na ang inyong rehiyon (The government is offering additional seedlings and farm machinery to help you improve your production. We also continue to implement the National Rice Program, National Corn Program, and the High-Value Crops Development Program in all parts of the country including your region),” he added.

In Surigao del Sur, Marcos promised that his administration would continue to push for quality education as he assured the public of continued assistance from the government.

The President said the government has over PHP1.5 billion for the construction of new classrooms and nearly PHP500 million for the repair of old classrooms in the region.

He added that over 170,000 scholars from the region will benefit from the various programs of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

“Maaasahan din ninyo ang patuloy na pagsulong namin ng edukasyon at kalusugan dito sa Caraga (Trust that we will continue to push for quality education and accessible health system here in Caraga Region),” the President said.

Marcos made the pronouncement a day after Vice President Sara Duterte stepped down from her post as Education Secretary.

Key infrastructure projects in Agusan

Also in Surigao del Sur, the President reported that major infrastructure projects in the province are halfway to completion.

The projects, according to Marcos, will help improve the lives and ensure the welfare of Surigao del Sur residents.

One of the projects is the Cabadbaran-Putting Bato-Lanuza Road, which is already 44.7 percent finished; the East-West Lateral Road at 61.09 percent; and the rehabilitation of the Tandag Airport.

Darryl John Esguerra (PNA)