Cebuanos join Biyaya ng Pagbabago launch, Osmena lauds Bridges

CEBU CITY -- An estimated 10,000 Cebuanos from the different parts of the province flocked to the Cebu Technological University (CTU) grounds Saturday to witness the launching of the “Biyaya ng Pagbabago” poverty alleviation program in Cebu.

According to Cabinet Undersecretarty Joselito Libres,  “Biyaya ng Pagbabago,” short for “Biyaya ng Pagbabago Tungo sa Masagana at Matiwasay na Buhay Pilipino,” is the poverty alleviation program that seeks to consolidate variosu services for marginalized sectors. This is  under the office of Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco, and hopes to help these sectors partake of development initiatives by availinv gof important government services. This aligned with the Philippine Development Plan ‎2017-2022 to reduce poverty in the country from 21.6% to 14%.

“We are targeting to alleviate poverty by 7%, or lift the lives of about 6 million people listed under the poverty level, before President Rodrigo Duterte’s term ends in 2022,” said Undersecretary Joselito Libres of the Office of Participatory Governance (OPG), which is initiating the pro-poor program.

At least 23 government agencies put up booths at the CTU grounds to render their services to the participants.

The Department of Agriculture allotted seedlings to the farmers, while the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources distributed fishing gadgets to the fisherfolk and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) awarded scholarship grants to deserving applicants.

A significant number of the participants also trooped to the 8888 Citizen’s Complaint Booth to air their grievances.
Other agencies that rendered their services at the launching were the Philippine Coconut Authority, National Irrigation Administration, National Food Authority, Department of Interior and Local Government, Philippine Commission on Women, Department of Tourism, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Trade and Industry, Cooperative Development Authority, Philippine Information Agency, Department of Health, Department of Social Welfare and Development, and the housing agencies. 

Osmena seen at Biyaya :Launch

Seen among the crowd were city and municipal mayors, including Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña, and other government officials. Osmena earlier lauded the plan to build bridges that will link Luzon the Visayas and indanao. In an interview at the launch, Mayor Tomas Osmeña on Saturday said the national government’s plan to build bridges connecting Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao will make travel and transport of merchandise and goods much easier.

In his speech read by Finance Undersecretary Bayani Agabin, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said the government will build a total of eight bridges that will connect the Visayas to Luzon and Mindanao.

The eight bridges, estimated to cost PHP269 billion, include the 24.5-kilometer Cebu-Bohol and 5.5-km Cebu-Negros link bridges.

The said projects are just waiting for the approval of the National Economic and Development Authority’s Investment Coordination Committee (Neda-ICC).

Also awating approval by Neda-ICC are the Samar-Luzon, Leyte-Mindanao, Negros-Guimaras, Panay-Guimaras, Leyte-Lapinig Island, and Bohol-Lapinig bridges. “This will virtually make the Visayas islands as one,” Osmeña said. He also hopes the construction of these bridges will begin at the soonest time possible.( with reports from PNA) Photo: WIkipedia