President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Sunday led the government’s nationwide gift-giving program by giving out Christmas presents to hundreds of children who were invited to the Malacañang grounds as part of the kick-off for the yuletide season.
The President was joined by his wife, the First Lady Louise Araneta-Marcos, in handing gift bags to children living in communities around the Malacañang complex in San Miguel, Manila.
The First Couple could not contain their glee when children serenaded them with their rendition of the classic Christmas carol, “Oh, Holy Night.”
In his speech, the chief executive said he was elated to see children in the Palace, saying Christmas are for children and the holiday season will never be complete without them.
“Napakasaya talaga at hindi kumpleto ang kahit anong Pasko kung hindi natin nakikita ang ngiti at tuwa ng ating mga anak, ang ating mga apo, ang ating mga kabataan,” President Marcos said.
“Kaya’t this is a very very happy day for me dahil tradisyon ito dati pa, dito sa Palasyo, gumagawa kami ng children’s party ‘pag Pasko para naman lahat nakasiguro tayo lahat ng ating kabataan sa buong Pilipinas ay mayroong Pasko,” the President added.
The President made a similar remark during the Christmas Tree lighting on Saturday evening when he said that the government had done everything to ensure Filipino children could celebrate Christmas.
The chief executive mentioned that the gift-giving event, dubbed “Balik Sigla, Bigay Saya,” was being simultaneously held in 40 more locations in the country.
“More than 40 locations around the Philippines gumagawa rin tayo ng ganito para rin makatiyak na kahit saan sa Pilipinas ay nagawa natin ng paraan upang mabigyan ng Pasko ang ating mga kabataan,” the President pointed out.
The gifts the children in Malacañang received were provided out of the generosity of private businesses as well government agencies that include the Office of the President (OP); Department of Health (DOH); Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD); Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).