SAN JOSE, Occidental Mindoro―Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi on Sunday took the initiative to check on the 22 fishermen involved in a sea incident near Reed Bank in the West Philippine Sea and assured them of government assistance.
Acting as chair of the Cabinet Officers Regional Development and Security 4B (CORDS-Mimaropa), Cusi flew here to deliver President Duterte’s assurance.
At the same time, Cusi announced that the President wants to meet with F/B Gem-Vir 1 owner Felix dela Torre and boat captain Junel Insigne, apparently to get first-hand information, regarding the collision with a Chinese vessel on 9 June.
LOOK: Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, acting as chairman of the Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security 4B (Mimaropa) assures the 22 fishermen of F/B Gem-vir of government all-out assistance. | via: @tribunephl_mjm pic.twitter.com/Vw8S34KNyd
— Daily Tribune (@tribunephl) June 16, 2019
“The President wants to meet the boat captain and owner. They will be going to Manila,” Cusi told the Daily Tribune. “The President will be well-informed on what really transpired.”
During the meeting that took no more than one hour, Cusi assured the fishermen of financial assistance from CORDS-Mimaropa and the Social Welfare and Local Government departments.
“The President’s policy is very clear: He wants the government to be closer to the people and look after their welfare,” said Cusi. “We don’t need to be told what to do, as alter ego of the President, we will do what the President has directed and that is to look out after our people.”
Upon his arrival here, Cusi went directly to the house of Dela Torre, along the shoreline of this town.
“Happy Father’s Day,” Cusi greeted the 22 fishermen, led by Insigne. “I am glad that you are all safe. I am here to assure you that the government is ready to assist you after this incident.”
San Jose Mayor Romulo Festin, who received Cusi and Undersecretary Alexander Lopez, welcomed the morale-boosting visit.
“This is what our people need―assurance from the government. No less than a Cabinet secretary came to us to deliver the message,” Festin told the Daily Tribune.