• Fri. Mar 31st, 2023

    Bulacan’s fallen heroes honored The Manila Times


    Sep 30, 2022

    CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan: The five rescuers who died while trying to save lives during the onslaught of Super Typhoon “Karding” were given a special tribute for their heroism on Friday, September 30, at the Bulacan Capitol Gymnasium.

    Dubbed as “Thank you and Farewell… Heroic Rescuers! A Necrological Service for the Departed Public Servants”, the special tribute was attended by the families of the victims, rescuers from different provinces and cities in the country, and employees of the Provincial Government of Bulacan headed by Gov. Daniel Fernando and Vice Gov. Alexis Castro.

    Provincial Public Affairs Office head Katrina Anne Balingit said that officials from national and regional agencies including the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Office of Civil Defense, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and others guests were also present to pay respect to the Bulakenyo heroes.

    The tribute allowed the public to offer their prayers and gratitude to the five fallen heroes namely George Agustin of Iba O’Este, Calumpit; Troy Justin Agustin of Sta. Rita, Guiguinto; Marby Bartolome of Bulihan, Malolos; Jerson Resurrection of Catmon, Santa Maria; and Narciso Calayag Jr. of Malolos

    A Mass was held at 3 pm prior to the emotional tribute and the offering of candles, crucifix, bible and the Bulacan rescue seal.

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    Testimonials from the people whose lives they have touched were heard as well as the messages from Fernando and Castro.

    Bulacan lawmakers, mayors, board members, and officials from other national agencies and PDRRM offices were also present to pay tribute to the fallen heroes.

    Highest recognition plaques were also given to the families of the victims.

    Pledges of support poured in

    Meanwhile, pledges of support poured in for the families of the five “Bayani ng Kalamidad” (Heroes of the Calamity) such as cash gifts and scholarship grants.

    After the tragic accident, Fernando rushed to the funeral home and shouldered all the expenses for the funeral services and gave financial aid from his own pocket.

    “We will provide all appropriate incentives from the government to the bereaved families,” Fernando said.

    The governor added that he received many phone calls and pledges from the private sector and philanthropists, including foreigners who wanted to help the families of the victims.

    Fernando said that the honor of Bulacan Foundation president Gladys Sta. Rita called him and announced that a Filipino Chinese named Wilfredo Keng, chairman of Century Peak Holding Corp., will give financial aid to the families. His daughter Katrina Keng was the one who handed over the check worth P200K per family and a scholarship grant to one of the orphaned children from each family.

    Angat Buhay Foundation and Bulacan Angat Buhay Volunteers of former vice president Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo also gave P10,000 per family while the Chinese Embassy as well as the Insular Life also pledged support.

    Fernando also said that Al Tengco, chairman of the Philippine Amusement and Going Corp., gave P100,000 to each family.

    The League of Municipalities in the Philippines-Bulacan Chapter headed by its president Bocaue Mayor JonJon Vilanueva said that the league will give P50,000 to each family.

    Fernando said that he also gave P300,000 per family from his own pocket and that he is also looking at the possibility of providing scholarships for the other children of the “Bulacan Heroes.”

    The regular session held on Thursday in the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) chaired by Castro fast-tracked a resolution in which the provincial government will recognize the heroism of the fallen hero rescuers and provide P200,000 to each victim’s family.

    Castro said the passage of resolution was based on the letter request of Fernando to facilitate and fast-track the approval of the financial assistance through a resolution that will be given to the fallen heroes.

    Castro added that the SP will also study the passage of additional incentives to be granted to rescuers and the conduct of regular retraining to refresh their knowledge during rescue operations.


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