Bantayan Island, Cebu
25 February 2014

From the ‘Salubungan’ program in Cebu City, President Benigno S. Aquino III flew to Bantayan Island in Cebu where he inspected more than 200 boats given to fishermen whose boats were all destroyed by super typhoon Yolanda last year.

The President viewed the new motorized and non-motorized bancas that are part of around one thousand projected boat donations by different organizations. The sponsors include Gawad Kalinga-Balangay, Bangka Relief, Association of Bantayanons in America (Project Tindog Swangan), Carmen Copper Corporation, Damgo sa Kaugmaon Inc. (Back to Sea Project) and Oxfam International.

In his short remarks, the President thanked and praised the groups who donated the boats for these will help rebuild the lives of those who suffered from super typhoon Yolanda. He assured the people of his administration’s efforts to help ease their suffering while they help support themselves because the spirit of the EDSA Revolution is also about love and sharing.

President Aquino also witnessed the turnover of a P5-million check under the Cash for Work Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development. Bantayan Mayor Ian Christopher Escario accepted the check from Secretary Dinky Soliman that will assist 1,250 beneficiaries. The said program for the municipality will include activities like coastal communities’ cleanup, school rehabilitation and planting of trees and mangroves.

The President also passed by the Bantayan Public Dry Market and briefly interacted with the local vendors and fisherfolks.

Bantayan Island was badly hit by super typhoon Yolanda. Besides the destruction of their major means of livelihood, 25 Bantayanons reportedly died while more than a thousand were injured.

Executive Secretary Paquito ‘Jojo’ Ochoa Jr., Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras, Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, Presidential Assistant on Rehabilitation and Recovery Panfilo ‘Ping’ Lacson, Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio ‘Babes’ Singson and Representative Benhur Salimbangon were among those who were also present during the occasion.