SPEAKER Alan Peter Cayetano yesterday led the turnover of food donations to 1,350 tricycle drivers from District 1 Quezon City and 2,000 barangay health workers from District 4 Quezon City.
This was part of the effort of the House of Representatives to save life and livelihood of the workers displaced as a result of imposition of quarantine measures in the past four months.
Joining him in the event were Majority Floor Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, Deputy Speaker Dan Fernandez, Representatives Onyx Crisologo (First District, Quezon City), Bong Suntay (Fourth District, Quezon City), Precious Castelo (Second District, Quezon City), Allan Reyes (Third District, Quezon City), Kit Belmonte (Sixth District, Quezon City), and Bambol Tolentino (Eighth District, Cavite). FED TODA President Randy Serrano and Barangay Captains Francesca David and Jesus Lipnica III received the donations on behalf of the beneficiaries.
While the project has already benefited almost 16,000 families and 1,882 military frontliners, it has also helped sustain livelihood of Benguet farmers who have suffered decline in income since March.
“We want to bring hope and opportunities both to the frontliners and displaced workers in Metro Manila and to the farmers in Benguet,” said Cayetano.
“As we continue to battle COVID-19 pandemic, let us work towards a unified and wholistic solution to address the effects of the crisis and build back better,” he stressed.
Data from the Regional Development Council of Benguet showed that there were 58,576 affected vegetable and livestock farmers. Of this number, 24,300 lost their jobs during the ECQ which was equivalent to P9.543 million in lost income.
Through the generous support of the members in Congress, they are able to support the displaced workers in COVID-stricken National Capital region and boost the income of struggling farmers who have lost a huge part of their market during the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon.
“As we move to reopen our economy and adapt with new normal, we urge the local government and corporations who are conducting relief efforts to get food supplies directly from the farmers, fisherfolk and other local producers. We need to collaborate with each other by patronizing the homegrown products of our local micro, small medium-scale enterprises to contribute in revitalizing our economy,” he added.
Cayetano mentioned in his remarks during the event that they plan to reach out to affected communities in Batangas and Cebu province in the coming weeks.
The donations consist of halal-certified cream dory fish and chicken-leg quarter, vegetables from Benguet farmers, and vitamins.
In a span of two months, the House of Representatives have served the following beneficiaries which include 4,500 families in selected Muslim communities in Manila, 1,882 military frontliners from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Joint Task Force National
Capital Region (NCR), 8,882 tricycle drivers in the 2nd District of Quezon City, who had lost their livelihood during the quarantine and 2,598 families affected by the "Special Concern Lockdown" in the 6th District of Quezon City.