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PIA Press Release

Poor Misamis fisherfolks go out into streets to welcome PGMA

Cagayan de Oro City (21 November) -- Residents of this fifth-class municipality went out into the streets here to welcome President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the first-ever seating President of the Republic to visit this fishing town of this province.

"We didn't expect the President to visit us because Baliangao is only a fifth-class municipality. So lahat kami na-overwhelmed and excited. We consider the President's presence here in Baliangao as a "dream comes true," Mayor Haneya Theresa Yap-Chiong said in an interview.

"Yung lahat na biyaya na binigay ng Presidente sa amin dito (Baliangao) ay malaking tulong sa amin lalo na sa mga residente, because as you know, maraming mahihirap dito. And even small things na naibigay sa kanila ay malaking tulong para sa kanilang kabuhayan," Mayor Chiong added.

The President, accompanied by Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary Nasser Pangandaman arrived here shortly before noon from Ozamiz City, to lead various national agencies in providing basic social services to the indigent residents here.

Misamis Occidental Gov. Loreto Leo Ocampos, Baliangao Mayor Haneya Theresa Yap-Chiong, Misamis Occidental 1st District Rep. Marina Clarete, Philippine National Police (PNP) provincial Director Leanilo Cabug, Baliangao School of Fisheries Principal Lolita Daque, and Misom barangay Captain Ernesto Ambalong welcomed the President as she disembarked from her chopper at the Baliangao School of Fisheries in Misom village here.

Upon her arrival at the municipal plaza, the President spearheaded the medical and dental mission and distributed 1,237 access cards and cash cards to the elderly and other beneficiaries.

The access cards are part of the ongoing project of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) under its Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) while the cash cards are under the Tulong kay Lolo t-Lola program.

Earlier, the President instructed representatives of the DSWD and other agencies to turn over 10 bags of hybrid rice seeds, 20 bags of certified rice seeds and 10 bags of hybrid corn seeds from the Department of Agriculture (DA) to the leaders of farmer organizations of Baliangao.

She also ordered the distribution of 10,000 tilapia fingerlings from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to the leaders of fishermen associations; 43 land patents under the Handog Titulo Program of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR); 26 certificates of land ownership awards (CLOAS) to 34 agrarian reform beneficiaries covering a total area of 44.3 hectares from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR); training for work scholarship vouchers to 20 beneficiaries for commercial cooking and for hairdressing; purchase order worth P20,000 for packaging materials for Baliangao One-Town, One Product (OTOP) bottled sardines making project; 25 boxes of school kits for day care and Grade 1 pupils; and family food packs for the 3,000 poor indigent residents. (PIA-MMIO) [top]

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