Most of the breadwinners in their village earn a living either as construction workers or market vendors.
By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
MANILA – A local chapter of a women’s group is proving social solidarity can be done while practicing physical distancing as the country continues to bear the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Fortune village in Marikina City, women’s rights advocates have been conducting feeding programs to at least 30 families every two days, depending on the influx of food donations they are receiving, one of its members told Bulatlat in an online interview.
Resident Charites Delos Angeles said they themselves have been reeling the impacts of the lockdown in the Metro Manila, which was consequently extended to the whole of Luzon. Most of the breadwinners in their village earn a living either as construction workers or market vendors.
Now two weeks into the lockdown, each household in the neighborhood has received only three kilos of rice from barangay officials. With hardly any government assistance, Delos Angeles and the rest of their neighbors are standing on their own.
“We do not discriminate. We give out warm meals in the afternoon to as many households as possible,” said Angeles, adding their volunteers deliver the food to the residents.
This effort is part of Bayanihang Marikenyo at Marikenya, in partnership with #BabaeAko Network.
Among their usual staple are champorado, macaroni soup, and arroz caldo.
A Facebook Page dedicated to assisting residents of urban poor community San Roque in Quezon City has also been raising funds to provide health kits, food packs, and cash assistance to poor families.
Urban poor families remain the most affected and vulnerable to the spread of the COVID-19. Physical distancing, for one, is almost impossible in urban poor communities.
As of this writing, the Philippines has 1,546 confirmed cases, with 78 deaths.
Progressives have been pushing for mass testing and the provision of much-needed economic relief, saying that the lockdown alone will not help in the fight against the deadly virus.
Donations may also be coursed through the Facebook Pages of #BabaeAko Network and the Bayanihang Marikenyo at Marikenya. You may also contact Marylou Fernandez (0999-998-3922) or Zena Bernardo (0917-428-2442)
This article was updated to reflect that the initiative was led by the #BabaeAko Network.