ANGELES CITY The city government here has facilitated the return of a Bale Pusu pioneer ward to her family in Makato, Aklan.
Elizabeth Girao, 67 years old, was reintegrated with her biological sister, Emma Girao Togoto, after 32 years .
Mayor Carmelo “Pogi” Lazatin Jr. instructed City Social Welfare and Development Officer (CSWDO) Edna Duaso and Bale Pusu Social Worker Jerramae Tolentino to assist Girao, who has been staying at the city's Bale Pusu for one year and four months.
Girao was reunited with her family in Aklan on January 26.
They were joined by Makato, Aklan Mayor Ramon Anselmo Martin Legaspi III, and Municipality Social Welfare and Development Officer Bernadith Andrade during Girao’s return to her home.
“Maraming salamat po Mayor Pogi at hindi mo ako pinabayaan at dahil sa inyong ginintuang puso pinahalagahan mo kaming nangangailangan ng iyong pagkalinga. Hindi ko po makakalimutan na mayroong Mayor Pogi sa Angeles, Pampanga kung saan ako nakatira ng mahabang panahon,” Girao said.
Lazatin handed 5,000 financial assistance from his personal salary to Girao to help start her life in Aklan.
Chief Adviser IC Calaguas and Executive Assistant IV Reina Manuel also gave 5,000 to Girao.
In 2020, Girao was found homeless for almost a week and was referred by Barangay Pulung Maragul officials to CSWDO for assistance.
Lazatin instructed Duaso to temporarily accommodate Girao at Bahay Pagasa while Bale Pusu was under construction in 2021.
The Bale Pusu, home for the female homeless elderly, was inaugurated on September 2021, a flagship program of Lazatin, supervised by Calaguas and Manuel.
Girao was the first resident at Bale Pusu.
Bale Pusu, located in Barangay Sta. Teresita, can house 8 to 12 homeless female senior citizens. It has a receiving area, activity area, bedrooms, mess hall and kitchen. Locally-made dusters are also provided to the grandmas, made by Angeleña designer Rosette Ramos-Biag and hired home-based mananahis under the Angeleño First livelihood program.
Inside Bale Pusu are working staff composed of social workers and additional house parents from the CSWDO.
There are also daily activities for the elderly.
Doctors and health workers from the Rafael Lazatin Memorial Medical Center led by Dr. Froilan Canlas conduct regular check-ups on the housed seniors.
City nutritionists prepare their meal plan.
To date, a total of 209 individuals were rescued in the city-wide inter-office rescue and saturation operation, which was supervised by Calaguas and Manuel, with teams formed from members of CSWDO; Angeles City Tourism Auxiliary headed by Michael Lising; Gender and Development Office led by Mina Cabiles; and representatives of the Angeles City Women and Children Protection Center and Angeles City Police Office