GUGMA DAY: Rep. Baronda launches social services caravan; Sec. Bello to roll out DOLE assistance

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III (left) will join Iloilo City lone district Rep. Julienne “Jam” Baronda in the launching of “Gugma Day” today, Oct 22, 2019.

MAKING true her campaign promise of bringing H.O.P.E. (health, obra, peace and order, education) to the Ilonggos, Iloilo City lone district Rep. Julienne “Jam” Baronda will launch “Gugma Day” today, Oct 22, 2019, with Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III rolling out livelihood assistance to the Ilonggos.

“We are bringing social services closer to the people of Iloilo City starting today through Gugma Day. Along with Mayor Jerry Treñas, we will do this regularly with the residents of all districts, especially the marginalized, as beneficiaries. And what makes the launching special is the presence of Sec. Bello who will turn over livelihood projects that will benefit the coastal communities,” Baronda said.

Bello will turnover pump boats to 11 fisherfolks associations from the coastal villages of Iloilo City which they will use to earn a living for their families.

“I continuously go out to the barangays and talk with the people. The fisherfolks in our coastal barangays have vented out their helplessness to me. So I told them we will try to help them and here now they are going to receive pump boats and fishing gears that will reboot their livelihood as fishers,” the neophyte legislator further said.

Bello will also meet with GIP (Government Internship Program) and TUPAD (Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Wokers) beneficiaries in Iloilo who were enrolled into the program through the help of Rep. Baronda and Mayor Treñas.

“I campaigned on the platform of health, obra [employment], peace and order, and education or HOPE. And I have since worked hard to deliver because I don’t want it to be a mere slogan. I want it to come into fruition and be enjoyed by the people. I sought Sec. Bello’s help to bring about obra or job opportunities and he did not let us down,” added Baronda.

Baronda will also launch the “Balik Sigla” program aimed at rehabilitating stroke survivors by sending out Physical Therapists to the barangays and provide them with professional rehabilitative therapy. These PTs were engaged under the Government Internship Program of DOLE. “I want to help of stroke survivors get back into shape so we thought of this Balik Sigla program. We hope they can become productive once again,” Baronda said.

She further said that GIP, TUPAD and the pump boats are just the initial initiatives that can provide job opportunities from the labor department.

Gugma Day, which is done in partnership with the Iloilo City Hall, national government agencies Office of City Councilor Love Baronda and other public and private entities, will offer free medical and dental checkups, free medicines,free cervical cancer screening, free legal aid, free reading glasses, blood donation, and other services.

“You know when I go around the barangays now after that I have won, apart from asking me for infrastructure projects, the people also want these free medical checkups with free medicines. So I thought of putting together an activity where we bring social services to the people. For a start we are having the basic services but surely we will expand this to include more. And I want this to be a sustainable activity,” Baronda explained.



Baronda revealed that her long-term solution to employment concerns is the special economic zone.

“My long term solution to the employment problem is the Metro Iloilo Economic Zone and Free Port, the bill for which is being studied and drafted by my team since July. We will file it when the session resumes next month. And I am optimistic that Sec. Bello will help us by supporting this economic zone and by bringing here other DOLE programs that can provide the Ilonggos with employment,” the House assistant majority leader said.

The activity, which is among the first initiatives aimed at bringing H.O.P.E. to the Ilonggos, will be held at the Legislative District Office across Sunburst Park from 9:00 AM. More than 250 marginalized individuals from the nearby barangays are expected to benefit from the day-long activity.

To fulfill her H.O.P.E. platform of health, Baronda filed a bill expanding the bed capacity and increasing the staff of Western Visayas Medical Center. It passed the Committee on Health and will be deliberated upon in the plenary. For peace and order, she has been assured of having three new police stations by DILG Sec. Eduardo Año. For education, she will expand the Uswag Scholarship to cater to those who want to enroll in courses offered only in private colleges and universities. Aside from these, there are other programs and projects that are going to be implemented.

The United Fraternities and Sororities of Panay will also send in its members to donate blood to the Philippine Red Cross, which will set up a blood donation extraction area in the Gugma Day venue.

“I wish to thank Sec. Bello for being kind to the Ilonggos. Even if he is busy, he spared a day to be with us, to know our problems and situation, and hopefully to find solutions. I really appreciate the gesture of the good secretary. I know this is only the beginning of greater things to come for our beloved Iloilo City,” Baronda added.s