BBM, FL really cares about the poor
Unknown to many, first couple president Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos and first lady Liza Araneta-Marcos have big hearts for the poor.
I had the privilege of witnessing this on Saturday during our gathering at the Elsie Gaches Village (EGV) in Muntinlupa City, a shelter for abandoned women and children accredited by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in coordination with local government.
Mrs Liza could not hold back her tears as the children lined up and took turns to receive an early Christmas present from the First Lady. She bought all the arts and crafts/products made by the residents of the facility.
Despite her high place in society coming from a prominent family and being a successful lawyer, Madame Liza has a special place for poor women and children.
She also asked the EGV administrators to intensify the production of their arts and crafts and she will procure them all to give as gifts to her friends and visitors.
This shows that the leadership of PBBM and Madame Liza truly cares about the well-being of this poor and disadvantaged sector of our society.
EGV is one of DSWD’s temporary residential care for abused and abandoned women and children, who would otherwise wander aimlessly on the streets of Metro Manila and elsewhere.
The residence houses women up to the age of 60 who suffer from autism spectrum disorders, cerebral palsy, epilepsy and Down syndrome, and at least two of the residents are struggling with psychosis.
The center’s services adapt a holistic approach to the physical, psychological, emotional, and social well-being and development of residents through the center’s educational, vocational training, arts, music, and sports programs.
Last month, on the president’s birthday, BBM and the First Lady visited the White Cross Orphanage in San Juan.
Like EGV, DSWD licensed child care agency provides temporary shelter for children aged 0-6 born to single mothers, indigent families, mentally or physically handicapped parents or victims of incest or rape.
At White Cross, children receive medical assistance, pre-school education and infant care.
The visit to the orphanage shows that President BBM takes after his father and that he shares this quality with the First Lady LAM, a big heart for the disadvantaged poor.
So Christmas came early in the orphanages as the first couple gave them snacks and toys that made the children smile.
At White Cross, BBM in casual attire waved several children over to him and said hello. I heard him ask them in a paternal voice: “Anong gusto nyo, anong kailangan nyo?
You could see in the president’s eyes his genuine concern for the orphaned or abandoned young people who end up at the shelter.
A legal practitioner and professor known by her initials ‘LAM’, the First Lady shares BBM’s sympathy for the poor. Charity is something they have both been involved in long before the idea of running for president came up.
Prior to leaving with BBM for the United Nations General Assembly in New York, First Lady LAM discussed with me extending assistance to people who come to see her personally for assistance with various concerns, such as as medical and funeral assistance.
Although LAM is a very private person, people in need come to her through friends, connections in the practice of law or in academia – and she has proven to be a truly helpful person.
I learned that LAM has also requested assistance from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) for “ayuda” or financial assistance on hospital bills for sick poor kababayans.
Also concerned about the welfare of single parents or single parents, LAM inquired about the status of drafting the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the expanded Welfare of Single Parents Act. 2022 single parents.
The new law aims to develop a comprehensive package of social development and welfare services for the growing number of single parents and their children who will be provided by DSWD.
At the height of the pandemic crisis in 2020 and 2021, the government introduced blended learning and online classes as face-to-face schooling was suspended across the country amid the coronavirus crisis. COVID-19.
The former BBM senator and his wife LAM knew that very many poor students lacked the ability to afford the cell phones and tablets needed for their online courses and research to complete their modules and chat online with their teachers.
BBM was a regular guest on my radio show Tutok Tulfo at PTV-4 and Radyo Pilipinas during which he gave tablets to hundreds of poor parents and children who called.
At our cabinet meetings, BBM never forgets to ask me about the status of the various DSWD aid programs for poor Filipinos.
To prove his loyalty to his first state of the nation address pledge, “Di namin kayo iiwan,” the president pledged to marshal all available government resources to increase financial aid to Filipinos in dire need.
Indeed, hope floats because BBM and LAM have a special place in their hearts for the poor and a commitment to help the underprivileged overcome difficulties and hardships.