IN PHOTOS: How one woman lined up for hours to get 'ECQ ayuda'

George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 09 2021 12:02 AM

Lining up for the government’s cash aid was not a walk in the park for the residents of Baseco Compound in Tondo, Manila. 

Since the government reimposed the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), indigent residents in Metro Manila and nearby provinces had no choice but to wait for the government's cash dole-out under the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) for their daily needs.

On Thursday, 57-year-old Yolly, who only gave her first name for this story, spent the whole day in line for the cash aid, despite the heat and lack of food. 

A mother of six, Yolly used to rely on a small stall in the village market selling various household materials such as plastic pails and dippers. 

While all her children are married, Yolly and her husband still struggle to find enough income to get by during the community quarantine as sales are very scarce. 

"Itong P4,000 na to, magbabayad ako sa tubig namin. Tapos yung iba nakalaan sa pagkain, pang-bili ng bigas. Yung tubig namin nasa isang libo eh. Yung isang sako ng bigas mahigit dalawang libo. Yung matitira, pambibili ko ng kape, gatas, ganun."

Barangay Baseco had 3,000 beneficiaries with the last name starting with letter B on the second day. According to the officials, a total of 19,703 families are targeted in the community.

Yolly got out of bed 5 o'clock in the morning to get a queue number for the cash aid distribution. She started to line up 7 a.m., when she found the end of the line just outside their house, roughly a kilometer away from the covered court where the local government set up tables for the distribution. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

People had to bring their own chairs knowing that lining up for the aid would take them the whole day. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

A long line stretches almost a kilometer in Baseco, Tondo. Aside from the heat of the sun, people in the line not only had to endure the heat of the sun but also the chaos and the presence of people all around that made safe physical distancing almost impossible. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Not knowing how long it would take, all that Yolly brought were the requirements to claim the cash aid and a bottle of water. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Yolly chats with fellow beneficiaries as they spend hours waiting in line for the national government’s cash aid. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Although her house was just nearby, Yolly did not leave her slot, not knowing how things will progress. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Upon reaching the corner where the covered court is located, seats provided by the barangay were finally available. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Yolly converses with a barangay health worker about what is taking the process too long. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Yolly was finally able to get inside the covered court were she tried to keep a safe distance from the others. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Inside the covered court, hundreds more were still ahead of the line for the cash aid. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Yolly finally reaches the table only to find out that she has a missing requirement. Her voter’s ID reflects the address tof her old home that got burnt down years ago. What used to be Block 14 is now called Block 4 after a fire engulfed their houses. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Yolly was sent to another table wherein barangay officials print out certificates of residency for beneficiaries who couldn’t present valid IDs. The clerk had to send Yolly home to get a 2x2 picture for the certificate. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

After learning the missing requirement, Yolly walks back to her home, racing against time as the curfew nears. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

After 10 hours in line, Yolly finally receives her cash aid amounting to P4,000. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Yolly walks back home with a guarantee that with the P4,000, she will be able to pay some bills and buy food for the household. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News