Senate Majority Floor Leader Senator Joel Villanueva. Photo by Anton Luis Catindig

BOCAUE, Bulacan—Close to P7-million worth of Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) funds through its Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) program and the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Displaced Workers (TUPAD) project of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) were distributed to residents in this town on Sunday in honor of late Mayor Joni Villanueva.

Senator Joel Villanueva, older brother of the late mayor sought the release of almost P5 million worth of AICS funds which benefited 1,665 individuals and families as they commemorated the 3rd year death anniversary of her sister who died of ailment on May 28, 2020 height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also, a total of more than P1.7 million worth of TUPAD funds benefitted 433 residents with P4,000 each pay-out cash amount after they have completed their contract works under the said temporary job program.

Bocaue Mayor Jonjon “JJV” Villanueva. Photo by Anton Luis Catindig

The senator was joined by other family members—eldest brother, incumbent Bocaue Mayor Eduardo “Jonjon” Villanueva and brother-in-law, husband of the late mayor, Vice Mayor Atty. Sherwin N. Tugna in distributing the financial assistance to their constituents.

“Si Mayor Joni binigyan niya ng halaga ang buhay ng bawat Bokawenyo, ikaw, ako, saksi tayong lahat, nakita ng mga mata natin, naramdaman natin ang pagmamagal niya, naramdaman natin kung paano niya ibinigay ang buhay niya sapagkat alam niya ang halaga ng bawat buhay ng bawat Bokawenyo. Ngayong araw, sana gaya ni Mayor Joni makita natin ang halaga natin, ang halaga ng bawat isa sa atin at ang halaga ng ayudang natanggap natin. Kaya ang natanggap ninyong TUPAD gamitin ninyo ng tama sa dapat ninyong gamitan at tiyak ko mapapasaya ninyo rin si Mayor Joni,” (Mayor Joni valued each of the lives of the people of Bocaue, you, me, all of us witnessed before our eyes and felt her love to us, we experienced how she offered herself and her love to us because she knew the importance of each and every one’s life. Today, just like Mayor Joni, I hope that we could also see and value each and every one of us and the financial assistance that we received. I hope that you will use and spend your TUPAD funds in a righteous manner to serve your needs so that you could also make Mayor Joni feel happy), he said.

Bocaue Vice-Mayor Sherwin Tugna. Photo by Anton Luis Catindig

The senator also gave P1-million each worth of cash assistance through his Local Government Support Fund (LGSF) to five barangay captains to support the needs of indigent individuals and residents in their respective areas.

Mayor Villanueva assured all the other barangay captains that they will receive their own LGSF, particularly those who demonstrate good performance in serving their constituents.   

Senator Joel Villanueva, Mayor JJV and Vice-Mayor Tugna, together with the AICS beneficiaries. Photo by Anton Luis Catindig

The event was the fourth AICS and TUPAD funds distribution in Bocaue. The program and funds were brought down to the town twice a year, during the May 28 death commemoration and the November 24 birth anniversary of Mayor Joni.

The mayor sacrificed her health to personally lead the preparations of “ayuda” packs and pails to hundreds of people in Bocaue.     

She was already in pain because of her ailment but she continued with the works until she was hospitalized and died of sepsis secondary to bacterial pneumonia on May 28, 2020.