MANILA - Some 250 Marikina City residents who work in commercial establishments have each received P2,500 in financial aid under the social amelioration program of the local government as the lockdown in Luzon continued.
Among those who received assistance was Goeffrey Samante, a service crew member of a fast food chain inside SM Marikina, which remains closed because of the lockdown.
“May anak po ako eh isang taon pa lang po. Ayon, mapupunta lang sa panggatas niya at pangkain namin. Alam namin kulang din pero malaking tulong na rin to,” Samante said.
(I have a 1-year-old child. This will be used for our needs and my child's milk. We know it's not much but this is also a big help to us.)
Following strict social distancing measures to avoid the spread of the coronavirus, relief goods were also distributed to households through the assistance of barangay officials.
Sacks of rice and boxes of canned goods were distributed by the city government to the barangays for repacking and distribution, amid complaints from residents.
“'Wag na po natin i-bash or magpakalat ng fake news or batikusin ang barangay, kasi hirap din ang barangay. Nagdi-disinfect, nagre-repack na, nagdi-distribute sila, naka-expose sila sa threat ng COVID-19. Pagod na po eh,” Marikina Mayor Marcy Teodoro said.
(Don't bash or spread fake news or criticize our barangays, since they are also struggling. They are disinfecting, repacking, and also distributring goods, exposing them to the threat of COVID-19. They are tired.)
Among beneficiaries of the relief packs are shoemakers like Julieta Crimen, whose work was cut in half because of the lockdown.
“'Yung dati ho pag malakas nagbibigay ng dalawang daan. Ngayon, wala pang isang daan,” Crimen said.
(Before, when business was strong, I bring home P200. Now, it's not even P100.)
Teodoro appealed for understanding as not everyone in Marikina will be given assistance at the same time as local and barangay officials are grappling with the daily demands of work to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The Marikina City government is in the process of finishing a laboratory capable of testing for COVID-19.