COVID-19 SITUATION BACKGROUND
Because of the Covid-19 pandemic Metro Manila including Payatas has been placed by the government under “Enhanced Community Quarantine” (ECQ), that is to say it is under extreme lockdown.
There is no public transport, roads into Payatas are closed or guarded with road blocks and checkpoints. People are only allowed by the government to leave their houses if they have a local government “quarantine-pass”. Only one person per household is allowed such a pass to go out and buy food, medicines and essential items, if they have the money to do that.
Most of those who have jobs cannot go to work and so have no pay. Most have no savings, no sick leave, no health insurance - in short, no safety net, no food stored up. People are hungry. The local government has not been able to cope with the hundreds of thousands of people needing food.
In spite of efforts of many to help, the situation is expected to worsen as the lock-down has now been extended until April 30th at the least and a further extension is probable.
More and more people are getting more and more hungry. The situation is already extreme and it is getting desperate for many.
PRESENT RESPONSE OF PNA
There are a number or responses that PNA hopes to make but up to now PNA’s response has been mainly to distribute relief food, thanks to many generous donors. However, much more is needed.
Ideally PNA’S relief food should only be an augment of the government’s response, that is to say it should give people something in addition to the small amount the government has been able to give them. However, the numbers of people needing help is so great that it can take weeks for the government to give all of its targeted eighty thousand families food packs. Indeed thousands of the families to which we delivered relief food were still waiting after several weeks to receive their first relief food from the government.
Recognizing the enormity of the task, PNA is coordinating with the Local Government Unit (Barangay Payatas) and the Local Catholic Parish (Ina Ng Lupang Pangako Parish). PNA communicates with both of them regularly and sends them a list of all those whom receive relief goods from PNA. The aim is to prevent unnecessary duplication and enable as many people who need relief food as possible to receive it. At the present time PNA has given relief food to around 9,000 families.
INTENDED FUTURE RESPONSE OF PNA
PNA will soon have provided relief food to ten thousand families. It hopes to continue giving relief food to these families, and possibly to even more families, every week for as long as the lock down lasts. It then hopes to do rehabilitation and development work with as many of these families as possible. While the lock down lasts, depending on funding and the amount of food received in kind, PNA intends to to try each week to distribute to ten thousand families either a 4-8 kg bag of rice (with a small amount of canned foods as long as stocks last) or a slightly more substantial food pack. PNA is also considering the possibility of giving families rice plus a small amount of money, maybe 40 to 100 Pesos, with which they can buy some food.Each 4kg bag of rice costs approximately 200 pesos (at present exchange rate). The cost of food packs varies depending on the contents but we are cutting down what we put in food packs and so an estimated cost is 350 pesos per pack. That’s approx US$7 per week !
The price per week of providing just rice to ten thousand families is estimated at two million pesos per week.
The price per week of providing a food pack to ten thousand families is estimated at three and a half million pesos per week.
THANK YOU WORD FROM FATHER PAUL
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