PRESIDENT Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has released P88 million to nine farmer organizations in Negros Occidental as part of the Philippine Rural Development Project of the Department of Agriculture (DA).

Marcos, the concurrent chairman of DA, distributed the financial assistance to 1,835 beneficiaries from different municipalities and cities in the province.

He also turned over palay seeds to 100 farmers under the Rice Competitive Enhancement Fund, while the Department of Social Welfare and Development distributed P5,000 financial assistance to each of the 100 residents of Bacolod City under the DSWD’s Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) Program.

The President reiterated his administration’s commitment to providing assistance to Filipinos in need.

“Kaya’t habang nangangailangan ng tulong ang taong-bayan, gagawin ng gobyerno lahat para kahit papa’no ay makatulong,” Marcos said.

(While the people of the town need help, the government will do everything to somehow help them.)

“Sa palagay ko naman po, basta’t ipagpatuloy natin ito, basta’t ipagpatuloy natin na pagandahin ang paghawak sa ekonomiya, sana naman hindi na tatagal, hindi niyo na kakailangan itong tulong na ito. Ngunit habang nandiyan — hanggang kailangan ninyo, nandito kami,” he added.

(In my opinion, as long as we continue this, as long as we continue to improve the handling of the economy, I hope it won't be long, you won't need this help. But as long as you need us, we're here.)

During his visit to Western Visayas primarily to attend the culmination of the MassKara Festival in Bacolod City, Marcos also led the unveiling of a township marker inside Megaworld’s 34-hectare township development.

In his speech, Marcos said the development project will push forward the initiatives of the administration for post-pandemic economic transformation and is expected to bring in more job opportunities and economic progress not just in Bacolod but also to nearby provinces and cities.

“If we continue on this trajectory, I am very confident, malakas ang loob ko na makapagsabi na siguro sa ilang taon, hindi na tayo masyadong maghihintay, makikita natin na dadami ang trabaho at ang pinag-uusapan dito ay hindi ‘yung basta-basta trabaho kung hindi ‘yung magagandang trabaho na may kasamang benefit, may kasamang mga safety net, na may kasamang mga lahat ng mga pangangailangan ng mga trabahador, which is something that is very, very important because it is quality jobs,” Marcos said.

(If we continue on this trajectory, I am very confident, I have the courage to say that maybe in a few years, we won't have to wait too long, we will see more jobs, and what we are talking about here are jobs that come with benefits, that come with safety nets, that come with all the needs of the workers, which is something that is very, very important because they are quality jobs.)

“Jobs are important but quality jobs are even more important and that is what they will get here,” he added.

During a situation briefing by the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) Western Visayas, Marcos raised the need for a public-private partnership style system to assist start-ups and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in growing their businesses.

He said the DTI should come up with a system that will connect MSMEs and start-up businesses to private financiers and investors to help them sustain and grow their business.

Marcos also urged the DTI to make the people aware of businesses that they can enter into. (SunStar Philippines)