BAGUIO CITY (October 26, 2021)— Senator Emmanuel Pacquiao made a surprise visit to Benguet Tuesday to extend financial assistance to the families of the three young siblings who perished during a landslide triggered by the heavy rains due to typhoon Maring a few weeks ago.
He also distributed relief assistance to those who were affected by the recent typhoon in La Trinidad, Benguet.
Pacquiao, who is running for President, also met with Benguet provincial officials led by Governor Melchor Diclas, to discuss possible areas of cooperation especially in disaster mitigation and in providing assistance to vegetable farmers.
Upon his arrival at the provincial capitol, Pacquiao was welcomed with the traditional “Tayaw” welcome dance.
In their meeting, Pacquiao underscored the importance of Benguet and Mt. Province as the country’s vegetable bowl.
He noted that the government must invest in storage facilities and vegetable processing plants to reduce wastage which is a prevalent problem among vegetable growers.
After his meeting with Benguet provincial officials, Pacquiao personally handed over P200,000 financial assistance to Romnick and Stephanie Teligo, the Benguet couple who lost their three children due to landslide caused by Typhoon Maring.
After visiting La Trinidad, Pacquiao met with Baguio City Bishop Victor Bendico and Baguio City Rep. Mark Go before proceeding to Dagupan City to distribute relief for fisherfolks and pay a courtesy call to Mayor Marc Brian Lim.
Pacquiao also made a quick visit to the town of Binmaley to meet with Mayor Sammy Rosario.
“Public works projects properly done”
Pacquiao, who chairs the Senate committee on public works, raised the need to find out if the flood control and slope protection projects that were programmed for Benguet were all properly implemented.
With the deadly landslides that had been common in Benguet and other areas in the highland region, Pacquiao said there is a need for government to ascertain the integrity of public works projects to protect the people from harm.
The solon also met with members of the Pacquiao for President Movement (MPPM) who handed out a petition calling for a deeper investigation on the ongoing slope protection and flood control projects in Benguet.
Pacquiao vows to find out why Benguet’s public works budget increased by ten folds, from P1.929B in 2020 to a whopping P9.578 B this year.
As chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Works, Pacquiao said he will definitely initiate a probe on these problems in Benguet.
Artemio A. Dumlao