MANILA - Antipolo City on Wednesday appealed to the national government that it be included in the second tranche of the social amelioration program (SAP) even if the area already shifted to a general community quarantine.
“Mr. President (Rodrigo Duterte), I know you have a good heart, alam ko ang nasa puso mo is the desire to help the Filipino people. Ako po ay nakikiusap na sana naman po mabigyan, ng ayuda pa rin ang mga mamamayan namin dito sa Rizal at sa Antipolo po,” Antipolo Mayor Andeng Ynares said.
(Mr. President, I know you have a good heart, I know your that what is in your heart is the desire to help the Filipino people. I am appealing that our residents in Rizal and in Antipolo will be given financial aid.)
Couple Melinda Gerona and Ricky Gomez, residents of Antipolo, said they still need financial help as they lined up for the city’s free rapid COVID-19 testing program.
“Kailangan po talaga kasi wala po kaming pinagkakakitaan ngayon,” Gerona said.
(We really need it as we currently don't have sources of income.)
The couple is undergoing rapid COVID-19 testing as a requirement for the “Balik-Probinsya” program of the government, which aims to decongest Metro Manila and promote growth in the province.
They said their situation worsened in Metro Manila due to the lockdown placed in the region to curb the fast-spreading COVID-19.
The couple added they are planning to go to Daraga, Albay as they can no longer work as vendors in the metro because of the quarantine conditions.
“Sa amin po kasi kahit paano sa probinsya po pwedeng may magagawa ka, pwedeng magtanim. Hindi katulad dito,” Gomez said.
(At our province, you can do something, like planting. You can't do that here.)
Antipolo has been doing free rapid testing, not only for residents who are availing of the “Balik-Probinsya” program but for other residents as well.
Ynares said the city has carried out 6,000 tests and is nearing the 1 percent of the population requirement of the World Health Organization for mass testing.
“Ang nire-require ng World Health Organization ay ma-test ang 1 percent of the population. Now, we are close to 6,000 plus na natest na namin. E, ang 1 percent ng population namin is around 8,000 plus,” Ynares said.
(The World Health Organization requires an city or an area to test 1 percent of its population. Now, we are close to 6,000 plus who have been tested in this city. One percent of our population is 8,000 plus.)
If an individual shows a positive diagnosis for COVID-19 in a rapid test, he or she will have to undergo another testing using the PCR or polymerase chain reaction test kits and will have to be isolated while waiting for the test results.
As of May 26, Antipolo has logged 153 COVID-19 cases, with 61 recoveries and 26 deaths. The whole province of Rizal has a total of 467 cases, with 246 recoveries and 69 deaths.
Coronavirus cases in the Philippines on Wednesday reached 15,049, of whom 904 died and 3,506 others recovered.