MANILA - Half a million families in the capital city will receive rice subsidies after the Holy Week to help tide them over during the extended Luzon lockdown, Mayor Isko Moreno said Thursday.
The city government bought around 50,000 sacks or 2.5 million kilos of rice from the National Food Authority in late March in anticipation of a lockdown extension. Some 571,000 families will each get 3 kilos of the staple, Moreno said.
The rice aid will augment the food boxes already being distributed in Manila. The lockdown is schedule to end on April 30.
"May buffer pa kami, but it's better na sobra kung sosobra para maakap namin hangga' t maaari ang lahat," he said.
(We have a buffer, but it's better to have more so that we can cater to as many people as we can.)
Some 235,000 families received food boxes in relief operations that will continue even on Good Friday, City Hall said.
"We have additional plans, and we will implement if necessary. For the meantime, this is something na medyo ahead sa sitwasyon in terms of needs. It may not suffice the entire basic needs, but at the very least bigas is pinaka-importante sa ating mga kababayan," Moreno said.
Affected families will also get P1,000 each in cash aid under the City Amelioration Crisis Assistance Fund or CACAF. Manila has disbursed P576 million of its P591 million CACAF budget to 896 barangays.
As of April 9, Manila has 277 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 477 persons under investigation, and 24 recovered cases.
Moreno, who had finished a 14-day quarantine this week, also inspected the 116-bed quarantine facility for COVID-19 patients constructed inside the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.
He said the area would start receiving patients after Holy Week.