TO fulfill the promise of President Rodrigo Duterte of a restored economy and livelihood for residents of typhoon-affected Cagayan, Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade joined Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III in the awarding of fiberglass fishing boats to fishermen severely affected by the series of typhoons, especially Typhoon Ulysses.
At the awarding ceremony for the 100 fishing boats to beneficiaries in Claveria, Cagayan on Saturday, January 16, 2021, Secretaries Tugade and Bello emphasized the goal of the government to help the fishermen in the municipality in their recovery, and the rebuilding of their livelihood that was devasted by the floods due to typhoon Ulysses in November 2020, amid the country’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Immay (Pumunta) kami rito, kasi napangako ng ating Pangulo noon, ‘Bello, Tugade, tulungan n’yo ‘yung Cagayan.’ Sabi ng ating Pangulo, ‘Ibangon n’yo ang ekonomiya ng Cagayan. Tulungan n’yo sila.’ Kaya nga ba’t nandidito kami ngayon, upang tuparin ang pangako ng ating Pangulo,” said Tugade.
The DOTr Chief highlighted the importance of taking care and using these government donations to the fullest.
“Tinupad ng ating Pangulo ang kanyang pangako na tulungan ang Cagayan. ‘Yung munting tulong na binibigay sa inyo ngayong araw na ito. Hingi at dalangin ng ating Pangulo na inyong alagaan lang. Gamitin sa tamang pamamaraan upang ang inyong personal na pamumuhay ay umunlad. Upang ‘yung pamumuhay ng inyong pamilya at sambayanan ay umunlad. In that case, when you take care of the blessings which this government is giving to you, it will never get tired of giving you more and more blessings and support,” he stressed.
Bello also announced that aside from the fiberglass fishing boats, DOLE will soon award ‘Nego-Kart’ franchises to provide additional livelihood to deserving recipients identified by the provincial and local governments.
“Pagpasensyahan n’yo na ‘yung maibibigay namin. Ang importante ay nagtutulungan tayo,” said Bello.
During the event, Secretary Tugade encouraged Secretary Bello to award ‘Nego-Karts’ to deserving recipients in all municipalities of Cagayan, and to increase the number of recipients to help boost economic activities in the province. Inspired by this, Secretary Bello agreed to donate 15 ‘Nego-Karts’ per municipality of Cagayan.
DOLE’s ‘Nego-Kart ‘ (Negosyo sa Kariton) is a project for ambulant vendors in major cities of the country. It enables beneficiaries to increase, upgrade, and/or diversity their products or services, and market these to a greater number of buyers or customers. Through the project, the vendors’ existing livelihood undertaking will be able to grow into a profitable and sustainable business.
Before the awarding ceremonies, Tugade saw the rehabilitation at the Claveria Port. The Transportation Chief ordered the immediate repair of the Claveria Port to continue and enhance its services to the people of Cagayan. To build back a better port, one of the recommendations of PPA is the construction of a breakwater starting this March, to serve as additional protection of the port during strong typhoons.
“Uumpisahan namin ‘yung pagtatayo ng breakwater. ‘Pag tinayo namin ‘yung breakwater sa Marso, maski anong bagyo ang dumaan dito, hindi na masisira ang puerto ninyo ‘pagkat lalagyan ng breakwater,” said Tugade.
Tugade added that the DOTr, through the PPA, will start the massive rehabilitation and repair of Aparri Port before the third quarter of 2021, as it was one of the identified needs of Cagayan as expressed by Governor Manuel Mamba.
In the aviation sector, Tugade mentioned that last week, the CAAP and the LGU of Tuguegarao signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA ), wherein the Tuguegarao Airport will be made wider and longer, and will operate 24/7.
Also present in the Cagayan event were DOTr Chief-of-Staff and Assistant Secretary for Procurement and Project Implementation Giovanni Lopez, Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) General Manager Jay Santiago, and Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Director General Captain Jim Sydiongco.
On November 15, 2020, Tugade joined Duterte and other Cabinet members in a situation briefing during their visit in Tuguegarao City, and discussed the aftermath of Typhoon Ulysses in the Cagayan Valley. During the visit, Secretary Tugade was tasked by the President to personally manage and monitor the rehabilitation of Cagayan.