(Photo courtesy of Palawan Maritime SOU Pulis)

The 2nd Special Operations Unit-Maritime Group (2nd SOU-MG) distributed relief packages Wednesday to boatmen belonging to Honda Bay Boat Owner’s Association (HOBBAI) whose income sources have been affected by the coronavirus disease pandemic.

Some 180 relief packs containing essential goods and other basic necessities were distributed by the maritime group in Palawan led by P/Lt. Col. Ricardo Dalmacia who was also celebrating his birthday.

“Maraming issues na lumabas regarding celebrations ng mga senior officers namin, so why not i-simplify ko na lang ‘yong akin. Nakita ko ‘yong mga boat crew dito na wala silang trabaho, dahil wala pa ngang tours that’s why tinulungan natin na mabigyan ng ayuda. Kaya yong celebration sabi ko let’s make it meaningful. Mahirap lang naman tayo, naranasan din natin ‘yong hirap ng buhay, ‘yong walang wala, kaya sabi ko tumulong na lang tayo,” Dalmacia said.

He also said that they already started their gift-giving earlier with the support of some private individuals. However, this time the HOBBAI boatmen living in Honda Bay who are their neighbors were their priority.

“For the previous hindi namin sila nabigyan, nakikita namin nadadaan daanan lang namin sila. Ngayon, sabi ko dahil birthday ko naman, ‘yong part na ihahanda ko ibili na lang natin ng bigas at groceries ibalot natin at ipamigay natin doon sa mga boat crew, sa mga bangkero,” he said.

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Jayra Joyce Cañete Taboada handles the law and order and the science and education beats. She is also a licensed professional teacher.