By Zaldy De Layola

‘LAB FOR ALL’. Department of Social Welfare and Development Secretary Rex Gatchalian delivers a speech during the launching of the “LAB for ALL” program of First Lady Marie Louise Araneta Marcos in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan on Tuesday (July 11, 2023). Gatchalian led the distribution of financial assistance and family food packs during the event. (Photo courtesy of DSWD)

MANILA – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Tuesday joined First Lady Marie Louise Araneta Marcos in her launching of the “LAB for ALL” program in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan.

DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian spearheaded the distribution of financial assistance and family food packs (FFPs) as the First Lady brings essential health care services closer to the people.

In his speech, Gatchalian expressed strong support to the LAB for ALL initiative to deliver medical and health care assistance directly to the Filipinos, particularly the poor and vulnerable ones.

LAB for ALL or Laboratoryo, Konsulta at Gamot Para sa Lahat is one of the initiatives of the First Lady that provides free consultation, health screening and assessment, laboratory tests, and medicines more accessible to ordinary Filipinos.

“Kasama po dito sa LAB for ALL ang DSWD dahil katulad ng napag-usapan po namin ng ating mahal na Unang Ginang, Atty. Liza Araneta Marcos, yung mga gagastusin po natin pagkatapos nitong LAB for ALL ay hindi maibibigay ngayon kaya tatapatan naman ng financial assistance ng DSWD mamaya pagkatapos po ng ating buong proseso (The DSWD joined the LAB for ALL because as what I and our dear First Lady Atty. Liza Araneta Marcos talked about, you still need assistance after your consultation in the LAB for ALL. So the DSWD is here to provide financial aid),” he said.

Some 3,000 beneficiaries received PHP2,000 each, or a total of PHP6 million, under the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) during the launching of LAB for ALL caravan.

A total of 4,000 FFPs were also distributed both to pre-registered and walk-in beneficiaries.

AICS serves as a social safety net or a stop-gap mechanism to support the recovery of individuals and families from unexpected crises such as illness or death of a family member, natural and man-made disasters and other crisis situations.

“Sa DSWD, nakikiisa po kami sa program ng ating Unang Ginang na LAB for ALL. Makaaasa po kayo na patuloy kaming babalik at babalik sa ating mga komunidad at sa ating mga barangay (At DSWD, we are joining our First Lady’s LAB for ALL program. We commit to visit our communities and barangays again and again to provide assistance),” Gatchalian said.

Joining the First Lady and Gatchalian during the launching were Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr., Bulacan Vice Governor Alex Castro, San Jose del Monte City Mayor Arthur Robes, San Jose Del Monte City Lone District Rep. Florida “Rida” Robes; and Sagip Party-list Rep. Caroline Tanchay. (PNA)