After attending the 69th Araw ng Ipil at the Ipil Municipal Plaza in Zamboanga Sibugay Province, President Rodrigo Duterte, together with Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Christopher Lawrence ‘Bong’ Go, proceeded to Barangay Labuan to provide cash assistance to around 400 families who were left homeless after the fire. Pres. Duterte pledged to provide housing for the affected families.
The initial cash assistance to be distributed was P5,000 from Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), P1,500 each from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (PAGCOR) and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO). However, the Chief Executive asked SAP Go to release an additional P7,000 per family.
Aside from getting help from the government, the victims of the Zamboanga fire were also beneficiaries of private sector assistance, courtesy of the Friends of Bong Go (FOBG), a group that supports the advocacy of SAP Bong Go of providing aid to those in need, particularly the less fortunate and victims of calamities.
Led by Mariam Celia Hahalul-Hataman, the group donated forty pairs of brand new shoes, school supplies, and provided aid and comfort to the victims of the fire.
According to Ms. Hataman, funds used for the purchase of the donated items where sourced from private individuals who shared their common cause. She also appealed to her friends, relatives and community leaders to distribute shoes to the affected families, to show their support for President Duterte and SAP Go.
Meanwhile, in Jolo, Sulu, there was also another fire that started in a house in Barangay Walled City, and spread to the several houses in Barangay Busbus. The houses were built of light materials and the barangays were heavily populated. The massive fire resulted in a displacement of 3,183 families or 13,296 individuals.
Inspired by the “Sapatos ni SAP, Tsinelas Ka-Swap” advocacy, supporters and friends of SAP Go decided conduct relief operations in Lamnayong Elementary School. The school serves as one of the five evacuation centers for affected families last 24 July 2018.
Just like in Zamboanga supporters of Tatay Digong and Kuya Bong composed of local youth leaders, volunteers and the Kapatut Bangsa Sug Inc. (KBS) from the province of Sulu and nearby municipality of Tawi-Tawi came to help the victims.
Several private individuals also joined the event and vowed to give more assistance in the coming days. This is their own manifestation of support to SAP Go by replicating his good deeds, especially helping calamity victims.
A total of 180 pairs of shoes were donated to different families. Alnasir Alih, 16 years old, was one of the recipients of the shoes distribution. He is the eldest child among 8 siblings, and shared that his father is jobless, and his mother has no stable job. Alnasir Alih was filled with happiness as he received the shoes from the friends of SAP Go, which he said he would be useful for school and for playing basketball.