The Office of Senator Alan Peter Cayetano on Monday distributed livelihood assistance to hundreds of beneficiaries in Nueva Ecija in an effort to make their small businesses more resilient in light of frequent weather-related disasters in Central Luzon.
In partnership with the Nueva Ecija chapter of Gawad Kalinga (GK) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations (AICS) Program, the Emergency Response Department (ERD) team of Senator Cayetano gave livelihood assistance to 266 beneficiaries from GK communities in two cities and four towns in Nueva Ecija. Another 310 people from these communities are also scheduled to receive assistance in the coming weeks.
The March 27, 2023 payout activity in Cabiao town saw each beneficiary receive a cash grant worth P4,500, which they could use to build up their micro businesses ahead of this year’s typhoon season.
Nueva Ecija, the country’s largest rice-producing province, occupies a large swath of the Central Luzon Plain which is frequently hit by powerful typhoons and widespread flooding every year.
Cayetano’s ERD team conducted the DSWD AICS payout activity as part of the senator’s advocacy of building disaster-resilient communities by proactively addressing their needs even before disasters strike.
Aside from the AICS payout activity, Cayetano’s medical team also provided assistance to at least 30 beneficiaries under the Department of Health’s Medical Assistance for Indigent Patients (MAIP) program.
Also at the Cabiao event were Bishop Roger Noe, GK Provincial Head for Nueva Ecija Mr. Bebot Bolisay, and former GK operations head Jose Mari Oquiñena.
Most of the beneficiaries said they plan to use the assistance they received as capital for their businesses or take care of big-ticket expenses.
Recently widowed housewife Emily Medina said she will use her AICS payout to repair her late husband’s motorcycle so she and her children can use it for their family business.
“Nagpapasalamat po ako ng maraming marami kanila Senator Alan Peter at Senator Pia, napakalaking tulong po talaga nitong natanggap namin,” Medina said.
San Jose City resident Candida Soriano, on the other hand, said she plans to use the assistance she received as capital for her street food vending business, especially with the April festival season just around the corner.
“Ipangdadagdag ko po ito sa puhunan ko, kasi may pagpipyesta ngayong Abril, pwede po akong dumayo-dayo sa piyesta, para kumita kahit papaano,” Soriano said.
Emma dela Cruz, a GK community member from General Tinio town and an AICS beneficiary, said she will split the money she received between putting it into her small business and buying her prescription medication.
*Hindi po namin expected na mangyayari po sa ‘min yung ganito. Ipapasok ko po ito bilang puhunan sa negosyo ko, tapos yung iba po ay panggastos ko sa sarili ko kasi may maintenance na po ako,” dela Cruz said.
Beneficiary Mariah Simbulan said she would be using the AICS payout received to improve the drainage canal near her house and prevent accidents among the children in their neighborhood. With the leftover amount Simbulan also plans to stock up on essential goods for her family.
“Gagamitin din po namin ito pang-grocery po, pang-stock po ng mga kailangan namin,” Simbulan said. ####