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Bacolod City readies food packs for 40K poor households

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The city government here will distribute food packs to 40,000 poor households during the 14-day enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the city from March 30 to April 14.

Mayor Evelio Leonardia said the initial distribution starts today, March 30, 2020, and will benefit the city’s “poorest of the poor”.

Leonardia announced this in a press conference on Friday after he issued Executive Order (EO) 26, placing Bacolod under ECQ over the period. Also under quarantine are the 12 component cities and 19 municipalities in Negros Occidental.

He had earlier approved the release of PHP31 million as initial funding for the Emergency Food Assistance Program for indigent families and other residents displaced by the quarantine being implemented to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

The city’s Department of Social Services and Development has identified the beneficiaries in the 61 barangays, who will receive rice, canned goods, and noodles.

“This is just the start. As we get ready for the first tranche, we assure our people that this food assistance is on top of our priorities and the resources of the city will be geared towards achieving this goal,” Leonardia said.

He told the barangay officials to deliver the food packs to the homes of the beneficiaries, instead of asking them to claim these at the barangay hall to ensure that social distancing is implemented.

Lady Gles Gonzales-Pallen, president of the Association of Barangay Captains, said the 61 barangays have also prepared food packs for their respective residents although not of the same quantity as the assistance to be provided by the city government.

Under EO 26, a strict home quarantine will be imposed and the barangays will issue a home quarantine pass to a competent member of each household to regulate the movement of citizens in the city.

The pass will be used to access the basic needs of the household by purchasing or obtaining food, health, and other essential commodities.

Mass transportation will also be suspended during the entire 14 days.

“On Monday, we will strictly implement this. Once again, I’m appealing to our people to cooperate because this is for our own good. Just a little sacrifice. Please don’t complain about the inconvenience, that’s life. We are all affected by this. Those who don’t cooperate bring harm to everyone,” Leonardia said.

As of Friday, Bacolod had four positive Covid-19 cases, based on the latest figures released by the Department of Health 6 (Western Visayas). (Nanette Guadalquiver ndb via pna)

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