Celso plays ‘Santa’ to 3,600 women, kids PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 27 December 2012 15:10

In keeping with tradition, Mayor Celso Lobregat on Christmas eve shared the joys of the Yuletide season with some 3,600 indigent residents and their children as he regaled them with assorted goods and apples at his residence in Nunez.

“This is an annual undertaking to spread the joys of Christmas to the less privileged”, the mayor said. The gift giving activity every Christmas is in keeping with the tradition started by his late mother, Mayor Maria Clara Lobregat.

The beneficiaries, mostly mothers and children, started queuing the streets of Nunez where the mayor’s residence is located as early as 5am to avail of the gift-giving activity. They come from different barangays of the city—both in the east and west coasts.

Assisting the mayor during the distribution were Councilors Nonong Guingona, Rudy Lim, Myra Paz Abubakar, Mike Alavar, Eddie Saavedra, Noning Biel, Percival Ramos, VP Elago, Rey Candido and Rogelio Valesco Jr. and Zone III chairman Tito Espiritusanto, Homeowners’ and People’s Organization President Violy Alejandro, Campo Islam Chairman Nadz Sampang, FEBARKAZA president Art Onrubia, former Councilor Charlie Mariano, former CSWDO chief Francisco Barredo, young entrepreneur BG Guingona and staff from the City Social Welfare and Development Office headed by OIC Evelyn Las Marias.

Amid the scorching sun, the beneficiaries queued to receive from the mayor their gift packs consisting of rice, sotanghon/bihon with apples each. Nobody went home empty handed.

To ensure security and order, policemen and traffic aides as well as forces from the military’s Task Force Zamboanga were deployed to control the crowd as well as manage vehicular traffic.

“It is Christmas time and so it is time for giving”, the mayor declared as he personally led in the distribution of the goods.

The relief goods distributed to the families were part of the donation by the Zamboanga Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the American Chamber Foundation Philippines, Inc. turned over to Mayor Lobregat earlier in the week.

On Thursday, December 20, Lobregat distributed food packs to more than 600 indigent families from the different barangays in the city. The distribution was done at the City Social Welfare and Development Office compound at Pettit Barracks where indigent families, mostly elderly mothers tagging along their children, started to converge as early as 8 a.m. Each family received three kilos rice, sardines and noodles.

The following day, December 21, the mayor and group made the rounds of the different orphanage centers in the city and brought Christmas cheers to more than 400 abandoned, elderly wards and staff. 

The distribution of the gifts was facilitated by the CSWDO. — Sheila Covarrubias