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By: Vanessa L. Almeda | Published Saturday, February 29, 2020

Miguelita Bermudo, 37, cried upon hearing Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia’s announcement of a P3,000-cash assistance for tanods last Thursday, February 27.

"Hilak ni sa kalipay," Bermudo told Sugbo News minutes after Garcia ended her speech during the distribution of cash incentives for all barangay tanods in the second district of Cebu. 

Miguelita, a single mother, was one of the 1,389 barangay tanods who received the cash incentives, GSIS accident insurance policy, and tanod kits at the Cerge Remonde Sports Coliseum in Argao, Cebu. 

A resident of Barangay Looc, Santander, Miguelita went to Argao with her fellow tanods to meet and listen to the governor. She said she did not expect to receive the amount.

"Ay dako kaayo ang kalipay namo. Di man unta mi mangari kay naa mi okasyon sa amoa namutol man og kahoy sa mga dalan ug manghakot mi. Pero nananghid gyud mi sa among kapitan nga moari mi nganhi," she said. (Such happiness we feel now. We did not plan to attend this event because we were busy preparing for an upcoming activity, but we asked permission from our barangay captain.) 

Miguelita narrated that she became a tanod after her parents passed away. She somehow "inherited" the job from her father.

"Nakasunod ra gyud ko sa akong papa ug mama ug bisan pa sa pagsugod wa ko nag-apas sa sweldo kay volunteer man ko sauna sa World Vision," Miguelita shared. (I did not expect to have a salary, I’m used to volunteer work.)

When she was younger, she was active in barangay activities because of her parents. Aside from working as tanod, Miguelita owns a small sari-sari store as means to support her daughter.

"Dako na kaayo ni nga tabang..wala baya koy bana," Miguelita said, tears welling up in her eyes. (This is a big help for me. I don’t have a husband.)

Miguelita's is just one of the many stories of Cebuanos whose lives were touched by the cash incentives given by the Provincial Government. The tanods used to receive P1,500, but Garcia doubled the amount for this year, saying the tanods are the community’s unsung heroes.

The increase will already help augment finances of barangay tanods who are mostly dependent on the meager monthly allowances from their barangays. 

Last Thursday, all the tanods received the GSIS accident insurance policy, kits that included a whistle, baton, belt bag and flashlight, and the cash incentive. 

Those who received were tanods from Alcoy, Argao, Dalaguete, Olsob, Boljoon, Santander and Samboan.

New T-shirts will also be provided to the tanods soon. (Vanessa L. Almeda)