MANILA, Philippines -- Members of indigenous communities who have been stranded at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium received help from the private sector, while they await transportation to bring them home to their respective provinces.
Bounty Agro Ventures Inc. coordinated with the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples to donate thousands of packed meals to the displaced individuals.
"We cannot leave our countrymen behind in those conditions -- we cannot leave them hungry and turn a blind eye on them, especially our IPs," said BAVI president Ronald Mascariñas in a statement.
"Many of them don't have enough money in their pockets for the high cost of food here in Manila. That is why we are assuring them that we will send over packs of ready-to-eat meals until they are able to get back home," he added.
BAVI made the donation through Ulong Roasters, one of its chain of rotisseries.
On Friday, the company also donated 100 food packs to frontliners stationed outside Quirino Stadium.
The Rizal Memorial Complex has been packed with locally stranded individuals (LSIs) who are set to return to their home provinces during this weekend.
Videos that went viral on Friday night showed that the complex was jam-packed with people, raising concerns as physical distancing could not be observed.
On Saturday, hundreds of LSI were fetched by the Philippine Coast Guard from Rizal Memorial Stadium, sending them to Pier 4 where ships en route to Cagayan de Oro were waiting.
On Sunday, however, more LSIs arrived, hoping to avail of the national government's "Hatid Tulong" program which offers free transportation via land, air, and water for those hoping to return home to Samar, Leyte, Bacolod, Iloilo, Palawan, Mindoro, and Bicol region.