Speaker Romualdez delivers nearly P12M worth of additional rice, cash assistance to Puerto Princesa indigents, fire victims through CARD, AICS programs of the DSWD

Fulfilling his duty as caretaker of the 3rd congressional district of Palawan, Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez today delivered nearly P12 million-worth of additional assistance to indigents and fire victims in Puerto Princesa City in cooperation with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and other donors.

In November last year, the House of Representatives designated Speaker Romualdez as caretaker of the district following the death of its representative and former Mayor of Puerto Princesa City, Edward Hagedorn.

“It is a duty I embrace with the utmost seriousness-to ensure that you the heart and soul of our community-are supported and uplifted during these trying times,” said Romualdez, leader of the 300-plus strong House of Representatives.

Romualdez led the ceremonial distribution at the Provincial Capitol Convention Center of assistance to over 2,200 indigents identified as beneficiaries under the CARD program. Each beneficiary received P3,000 cash aid from the DSWD, along with 5 kilograms of rice from the Office of the House Speaker, or a total package of about P7 million.

Speaker Romualdez thanked DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian for the timely assistance extended to the fire victims and indigents in Palawan’s 3rd congressional district.

He also expressed appreciation for the warm welcome of the beneficiaries, adding their presence in the event manifests the innate fortitude of Filipinos and their determination to overcome challenges and adversities.

“Umasa po kayong mga taga-Puerto Princesa na ang inyong lingkod ay kasama ninyo sa lahaat ng pagsubok na dadaanan. At gagawin natin ang lahat, ayon sa bata upang maiabot ang inyong mga pangangailangan tungo sa sabay-sabay nating pag-unlad,” Romualdez said.

In a separate event held at Mendoza Park, Speaker Romualdez led the ceremonial distribution of around P4.8-million in cash assistance to some 700 fire victim household representatives who received between P2,500 to P10,000 each under the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) program of the DSWD.

The beneficiaries, who also received relief packs from donations of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) and youth group NextGen, were from 681 households affected by the February 7 fire incident in Barangays Bagong Silang and Pagkakaisa, and 19 households affected by the February 14 fire incident in Barangay San Miguel.

“Maliit na ambag lamang ito para sa araw-araw na pangangailangan ninyo, pero malaking hakbang tungo sa pagbangon ng inyong komunidad,” Speaker Romualdez said.

“Tulad po ng sinasabi ng ating Pangulong Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. sama-sama, babangon tayo muli,” he added.

The event marked the second round of AICS distribution to the fire victim. Last February 15 and 16, the Palawan 3rd District Caretaker Office oversaw the provision of P7-million worth of AICS assistance at PHP 10,000 for each of the nearly 700 fire victim households in the three affected villages.

This was in addition to 2,500 relief packs distributed a day earlier to fire victims in the evacuation centers. Within the day of the February 7 and 14 fire incidents, the Caretaker Office has also facilitated the provision of DSWD relief packs to the fire victims.

Deputy Majority Leader Erwin Tulfo, ACT-CIS Partylist Rep. Edvic Yap, Palawan 2nd District Rep. Jose Alvarez, Western Command commander Vice Admiral Alberto Carlos, as well as Palawan local officials led by Vice Governor Leoncio Ola, Puerto Princesa City Mayor Lucilo Bayron and Vice Mayor Nancy Socrates, were among government officials who welcomed the Speaker and accompanied him in the events in Puerto Princesa City.

Before the twin aid distribution events, Speaker Romualdez graced the simple ceremony for the blessing of the Palawan 3rd District – Caretaker Office located at Brgy. San Jose, Puerto Princesa City.

Constructed in December last year, the office began its operations last January 2024 and since then has been instrumental in providing at least P10-million worth of medical assistance through the Department of Health and about P8-million worth of AICS through DSWD to the district’s constituents.