Last March 14, 2018 I attended the turn-over ceremony of the 75 housing units at relocation site in San Isidro Village, Virac, Catanduanes upon invitation by the TESDA provincial office headed by PD Demetrio P. Anduyan, Jr.

Bossing Ferdz Brizo assigned me to cover said important event situated in a relatively far flung area in Barangay San Isidro, Virac, Catanduanes. Like a good soldier, I followed his order saying: “Your wish is my command.” And together, we laugh to our hearts contentment.

With the distance and travel time I spent to reach the place, I understood right in there and forgaved the first tricycle driver who refused my special fare offer of P 30..00 saying “malulugi raw siya dahil walang sakay pabalik.” The second driver hurriedly fetched me in when I offered him P 50.00 for the one way trip.

The benediction of the houses by His Excellency Most Reverend Manolo A. Delos Santos, bishop of Virac Diocese followed after the ribbon-cutting ceremony led by TESDA Deputy Director General Alvin S. Feliciano together with TESDA Regional Director Cleta M. Omega, Provincial Director Demetrio P. Anduyan Jr., Vocational School Administrator Elpidio R. Tuboro of Cabugao School of Handicraft and Cottage Industries and ranking elected officials.

This successful TESDA undertaking was made possible in partnership with LGU-Virac , the provincial government and some philanthropic entities who provided some of their time, effort and resources.

Cong. Cesar V. Sarmiento, who have had some earlier commitments in the House of Representatives was represented by one of his most articulate and trusted men— Mr. Gilbert Gualberto.

Speaking in the vernacular, Gov. Joseph C. Cua acknowledged the participation of all concerned entities and vowed to provide further assistance as the need arises under his incumbency.

Allow me, dear readers, to quote verbatim, in full, the message delivered by Mayor Samuel V. Laynes:
“Dios mayad na aga sa gabos. On behalf of the Local Government of Virac, I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the Technical Education and Skills Development Authroirty (TESDA), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Provincial Government of Catanduanes for their participation on this convergence project.

“This TURN-OVER CEREMONY emphasizes the role of the Local Government and its line agencies to provide socialized housing in an established relocation settlement for informal settlers despite of their financial capabilities and living poor conditions, at least they are afforded the security of living on their own land.

“Relocation settlements is not an exclusivity of informal settlers, it is also intended for those persons or families who had constructed dwellings in danger zones such as riverbanks, shorelines, dumpsites and government-owned lands.

“Many among our informal settlers and urban poor are wanting of decent shelters in a healthy environment, but our government could only provide enough at a time, however, let me assure you that we are exerting our best effort to source out funding assistance and donors for the construction of more housing units including safe water facilities, power supply, livelihood training center and children’s park.

Switching in the vernacular for the recipients to understand, Mayor Laynes said: “Gusto ko man ipasabot sa satuyang first batch ning mga recipients kaining socialized housing na dakulang bagay na igwa na kamo ning masasabing pagsadiling daga buda istaran, na dai na kamo magaisip pang tibaad paharion man sana.

“ Maski sa padiit-diit parinason ta an satuyang mga harong, tanuman nita ning mga gulayon an satuyang laguerta, mantiniron ang kalinigan sa paribot buda siyempre ugalion ang pagsegregate ning mga basura,” he said.

“Obligasyon nita ini bako sana para sa satuya kundi pati na sa satuyang mga kaakian siring man sa satuyang komunidad, tangani na magkaigwa kita ning magayon na panalmingan, “katakod nin pagiging responsible ning sarong tawo, iyo an pag-asenso,”he added.

“Sa paagi ning mga line agencies nin govierno arog kang TESDA, DOLE buda DSWD, magkakaigwa kita ning mga patraining sa Livelihood. Maghingoha kita na makamatid ning hanapbuhay sa mga patraining na ini tangani man na magamit nita ang mga Starter Kits na pangkabuhayan na pigtao ning DOLE,”the mayor said.

“Dai nita pagsayangon an mga ayuda na pigatao satuya nin govierno. Maghingoha kita na makapagpundar ning sadiling kabuhayan para sa futuro kang satuyang mga kaakian, para sa ikakaasenso ning satuyang pagbuhay,”he told them.

“Dapat man na magkaigwa kita ning marinas na samahan buda kooperasyon ning lambing saro, importante ini sa sarong komunidad siring man sa mga piga-implementar na programa ning govierno na para sa satuya,” he said further.

In closing, Mayor Laynes said with hope and optimism: “Pigalaom ko na maabot ang panahon, ang San Isidro Village Relocation Settlement magiging modelong komunidad. Mangyayari ini dahelan sainyong kooperasyon buda sa sainyong pagkasararo. SALAMAT PO .. GO SHINE VIRAC ..DIOS MABALOS.