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Marcos claims that the DSWD works nonstop to help the underprivileged and destitute.

On Thursday, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. gave the Filipino people the reassurance that the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and other relevant organizations are working around the clock to address the needs of the underprivileged, defenseless, and disadvantaged both during and after the holidays.

During a gift-giving event called “Pangkabuhayan at Pamaskong Handog ng Pangulo at Unang Ginang sa Sambayanang Pilipino,” Marcos gave a speech in which he praised the DSWD for helping Filipinos, particularly in times of disaster.

Because of the severe dumaan in the Philippines, all of the people in this group are undoubtedly busy. May bagyo, nagkalindol pa tayo sa Abra, so it’s certain that we’ll be speaking with those agencies 24/7. They’ve been busy throughout the last six months. The President addressed visitors at the Open Amphitheater in Rizal Park in Manila. “The Philippines has seen numerous calamities, including typhoons and an earthquake in Abra, so perhaps we can say that it’s one of the agencies that has been working 24/7),” the President said.

“Yung bagyo, the lindol, and the flooding are not in alignment with the celebration, even if papaano laging nandiyan yung mga ‘yan. Maraming salamat sa inyo hindi lamang para sa ngayong event na ito kung hindi para sa lahat ng inyong ginawa at napakabuti sa inyo kasi maraming-marami kayong natulungan (Typhoons don’t sleep, earthquakes don’t take vacations, and floods don’t observe holidays, but Thank you for everything you’ve done, not just for hosting this event; you’ve helped a lot of people, he continued.

Marcos stated that the DSWD would keep working to help the Filipino people overcome hunger and poverty beyond the holiday season.

“It is my intention to help you, Pasko is not present at this time. Ay laging nasa isip namin po ninyo at asahan kayo. Araw-araw ‘yan 24/7 iniisip nila itong mga DSWD kung paano namin kayo tutulungan… The aid will not only be provided during the holidays, even if Christmas is a success. The new year will also be supported by my tulong. You may anticipate that we will always have you on our minds. DSWD has been considering how we can assist you round-the-clock… We will keep assisting you (even after Christmas and the new year),” he stated.

At least 400 children and 574 individuals and families received Christmas gifts from Marcos at the gift-giving event, including numerous members of indigenous peoples (IP) groups and street children who were adopted by communities from all 17 local government units (LGUs) in Metro Manila.

The Department’s Aid to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) program provided food packs for children and gift packs with toys and books, while adult recipients received six kilograms of rice, grocery goods, hygiene kits, and financial assistance totaling PHP10,000.

The “People’s Palace”

While everything was going on, Marcos once again urged people to visit the Malacaang Palace Grounds to see the Simbang Gabi and the Malacaang Christmas Tree and parols.

I said, “Aanyayahan ko rin pala kayo…

Binuksan namin ang Malacaang at ang Palasyo para yung mga nagaantay magsimbang gabi, puwede mag istambay muna doon sa amin. So, we opened the Palace, the Malacaang, so that folks who are going to church for Simbang Gabi, can hang out with us first. “Nakabukas” ‘yon mula alas siyete ng gabi hanggang mga 4:30 a.m. mag Simbang Gabi na. So, during the Simbang Gabi, it’s open from seven o’clock in the evening until roughly 4:30 a.m.),” he stated.

Since the Palace is their “home,” he claimed that everyone is welcome to visit.

Welcome, everyone. Palasyo is bukas. (You are all welcome.) Hindi ko naman bahay ‘yan e, bahay niyo ‘yan. The Palace is accessible. “I unlocked it for you because it’s not my home, it’s your home,” he continued.

Marcos further emphasized the value of celebrating the holidays despite the difficulties caused by the Covid-19 outbreak and the increase in inflation.

“Even if we go through trials and will still confront problems, even for a time let’s enjoy a cheerful, merry Christmas and a happy New Year,” he added. “Kahit dumadaan tayo sa hirap, marami pang hamon tayong haharapin, kahit sandali kong mag-celebrate naman tayo ng isang (Even if we suffer

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