Financial assistance from the City Mayor’s Office worth P843,000 was distributed to 143 beneficiaries at the Bacolod City Government Center Wednesday and Thursday.
Mayor Evelio Leonardia led the Sept. 29-30 distribution of medical help worth P688,000 to 127 recipients, burial assistance of P140,000 for 14 beneficiaries, and assistance to two fire victims amounting to P15,000.
The first batch, composed of 50 beneficiaries, and the second batch, composed of 43 beneficiaries, received their assistance Wednesday, while the third batch, composed of 50 beneficiaries, received their assistance yesterday.
Joining Leonardia were Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, Councilor Israel Salanga, Councilor Bartolome Orola Sr., and Marlon Solidum, consultant at the City Mayor’s Office and in-charge of the financial aid initiative dubbed as “BING (Bulig Ini Nga Gugma) program.
Leonardia encouraged the beneficiaries to have themselves and their families vaccinated.
“COVID deaths are not just statistics, they are people. Most of our severe cases in hospitals are unvaccinated, that’s why I am encouraging you to get vaccinated,” the mayor said.
He added that Bacolod is having “the worst month ever” in terms of COVID-19 deaths.
The release of the financial aid was done in three batches to make sure that physical distancing is observed and other health protocols are complied with, Solidum said.
Solidum also reminded the beneficiaries to use the assistance they received wisely and “not use it for gambling.”
Salanga also reminded the beneficiaries to “not take COVID-19 lightly” and that “prevention is better than cure.”
“This COVID is infectious. Let us refrain from going out. Our city officials are always doing their best so we can get back on track,” Orola said.
Rudy Destor, a senior citizen residing in Barangay 16 and one of the beneficiaries, meanwhile, expressed his gratitude to Leonardia for the aid he received.
“Thank you, Mayor, because you helped me lessen my burden in my medical expenses. I am not yet vaccinated, but because of what our mayor said, I decided to get vaccinated,” Destor said.*