Romualdez b-day fund drive bumps up 'Paeng' cash donations to P120M

Speaker Martin Romualdez said that the House-led relief drive for the victims of severe tropical storm (STS) “Paeng” has generated cash donations worth over P120 million.

House Speaker Martin Romualdez (left) brief media on Nov. 15, 2022. Beside him is Navotas City lone district Rep. Toby Tiangco (Contributed photo)

This, after Romualdez turned his birthday celebration in Makati City on Monday night, Nov. 14 into a fund drive for the disaster-stricken Filipinos with his House of Representatives colleagues.

A statement from the Speaker's office Tuesday, Nov. 15 revealed that P70.92 million in cash and pledges for cash were generated from the impromptu fund drive alone.

The aggregate amount of P120 million is composed of both cash donations since the start of the relief drive last Oct. 29.

As of last Nov. 2, the Speaker's office announced that some P49.2 million worth of cash donations have been given by kind-hearted Filipinos for the sake of Paeng victims.

"We're overwhelmed by the generosity and outpouring of support. We've raised close to P120 million in cash and we've already disbursed 20 of that in cash and in kind," Romualdez, Leyte's 1st district congressman, told House reporters during a press briefing Tuesday afternoon.

The Speaker thanked his wife, Tingog Party-list Rep. Yedda Marie Romualdez, and others who organized the Makati birthday event-turned-fund drive Monday. These included House Majority Leader and Zamboanga City 2nd district Rep. Manuel Jose “Mannix” Dalipe and Quezon 2nd district Rep. David “Jay-jay” Suarez.

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. was also on hand. Marcos thanked the Speaker and his fellow lawmakers for their hard work and their support, as shown by their swift action in attending to the priority measures of his administration.

In turn, Romualdez told his guests last night: "Dear family, friends, and colleagues in public service, I am totally overcome with feelings of love and gratitude for your good wishes on my birthday. I cannot adequately thank all of you for your kind words and gestures that made me feel so blessed."

"Be that as it may, please accept my heartfelt appreciation and affection,” he added.