CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga — A total of 30 Fernandino lantern makers benefitted from the livelihood aid given by the city government as part of its Lantern Industry Rehabilitation and Support Program.
Each beneficiary received PhP20,000 aid in the form of cash and lantern-making materials.
Mayor Edwin Santiago said the aid, under the economic recovery and rehabilitation programs, aims to assist potential and existing micro, small, and medium enterprises, especially during this time of pandemic.
“Aside from the fact that we want small businesses to grow, we also love the culture and art of lantern-making here in San Fernando. As a stable government, we also need to further strengthen the economy and culture of the lantern industry,” Santiago said.
For her part, City Investment Promotion Officer Engineer Remedios Agoncillo said as early as September, the city has started screening registered and legitimate lantern makers as possible beneficiaries of the program.
“All our beneficiaries went through the validation process to make sure that they have business permits issued by the Business License and Permit Division. We also checked if they are registered with the Department of Trade and Industry, and whether they are active members of lantern makers associations,” Agoncillo said.
Meanwhile, on behalf of all beneficiaries, lantern maker and designer Roland Quiambao thanked the city government for the aid received.
“As a sign of our gratitude, we promise that we will not stop making lanterns especially now in the middle of the pandemic. The lanterns of San Fernando will serve as the hope of the Fernandinos and the Filipinos,” Quiambao said.
As a way of giving back also, the beneficiaries said that 30% of the assistance they received will be used to make affordable “Fernandino Parols” that will be sold exclusively to Fernandinos.