ILOILO, March 31 (PNA) -– Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. honored the thousands of Barangay Service Point Officers (BSPOs) in this province on Monday for their countless acts of courage and selflessness during the onslaught of super typhoon “Yolanda” last year.

“Although you, too, suffered from the typhoon, you continue to help and serve your fellowmen without any doubt or hesitation. From the deepest recesses of my heart, I thank and hail all of you,” Defensor said during the celebration of BSPO Day in Punta Villa Resort, Iloilo City.

The event, which was supposed to be held last year but was moved due to the super typhoon, was attended by 2,097 BSPOs from five congressional districts here. This is organized annually by the Provincial Population Office (PPO) headed by Ramon Yee in gratitude to the services of the volunteers.

“The service, especially those coming from the heart, is the one that is hard to forget. I am sure that your fellow Ilonggos, who lost their homes and even their loved ones during the disaster, could not forget your help no matter how small or big that was,” he added.

Prior to the governor’s speech, BSPOs from Northern Iloilo, composed of the towns from fourth and fifth districts, expressed their gratitude to their fellow BSPOs who gave them sacks of rice and other relief supplies after the storm.

Aside from the acts of volunteerism they have shown, Defensor also pointed out the crucial roles of BSPOs in sustaining the population, as well as the environmental programs of the provincial government through the years.

“If not for you, PPO will not be recognized for its Comprehensive Population Data Banking and Management Project in the region. The demographic and socio-demographic profiles of the province that you’ve done were the achievements Yee were always proud of,” he said.

The success of the project was likewise recognized and worth emulating nationwide, according to Population Commission Executive Director Juan Antonio Perez III, during his visit here earlier this year.

BSPOs were also the people in-charge of the monitoring of Action for Regreening and Transformation for Climate Change Adaptation, a flagship program of Defensor for reforestation that aims to plant 1.5 million trees, including mangroves, in the province annually. (PNA)