City of San Fernando, Pampanga—The provincial government of Pampanga purchased P75 million worth of rice and introduced a novel livelihood program for the benefit of the dislocated daily salaried workers affected by the implementation of the Luzon inland wide enhanced community quarantine.
Governor Dennis Pineda said the rice will be distributed to the poor sector while the program involves the production of hand-made face masks for health workers, police and soldiers manning hospitals and checkpoints in the area.
Pineda said the assistance aims to cushion the impact on the poor sector who are hit the hardest because they lose their primary sources of income due to the crisis brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.
Policemen and soldiers continue to implement the quarantine to the letter in the region with total of 128 checkpoints spread out in the seven provinces of Central Luzon until April 14.
P/Brig.General Rhodel O. Sermonia, regional director PRO 3, said the checkpoints are located in Nueva Ecija, 34, Tarlac, 31, Bulacan, 21, Aurora, 18, Pampanga, 9, Angeles City, 3, Olongapo City, 2 and Zambales 2.
The 128 checkpoints are different from those established in the barangay level which prohibit the movement of the people even if they reside in the same villages.
No improvised barangay identification card which carry the names, house number, and Purok means no travel policy.
The enhanced community quarantine was declared by the government in the island of Luzon as a form of intervention against the virus that temporarily disrupted the social stability and supply and demand of the economy that affected the interest of the salaried employees.
Sermonia Is appealing for the continuing cooperation and understanding of the people as the quarantine together with social distancing are the only effective measures to stop the spread of the virus in the inland, including Pampanga.
The peace and order situation in region remains orderly as no untoward incident has been reported by field officers, Sermonia added.
Pineda said the P75 million of rice will be distributed through the village leaders among the indigents of the province like the displaced workers, solo parents, transport groups, minimum wage earners, job order employees, and scavengers.
The livelihood program involves the production of homemade face masks for distribution to health workers who are experiencing shortage in their continuing efforts to suppress the spread of the deadly disease in the province.
Under the program, beneficiaries include mostly displaced daily workers on minimum wage are given six hundred pieces of ready-to-sew pieces of garment for conversion into face masks.
Pineda said once they finish six hundred pieces, they will be paid P3,000 each, enough to sustain their families while they are out of work during the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to the governor, the targets for the distribution of face masks are the frontliners like doctors, nurses, and others health workers, police, soldiers who despite the extreme danger to their own safety and health, remain in the field to stop the spread of the terrifying disease.
“They are our present day heroes although they don’t wear capes”, Pineda added.
Olga David-Dizon, second district board member and coordinator of the program, said a massive distribution of ready materials are now going in the towns of Lubao, Porac, San Simon, Bacolor, San Fernando and Mabalacat cities.
This will serve as a temporary cottage industry in time of crisis to help the displaced workers, David-Dizon added.
Pampanga has substantial workers on the daily basis like salesladies in different malls, meat processors, manufacturing companies, fastfood chain and construction who were affected the by closure of business establishments in the province because of the community quarantine caused by the pandemic.
A four-day work a week has also been implemented that started last week and will last until April 14 except those divisions performing important roles in community quarantine.
Instead of reporting for work at the office, employees will perform their job at home.
The important support agencies include, the office the governor, vice governor, offices of the provincial administrator, health, general services, engineering budget, treasurer, accountant, social welfare, Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (PDRRMC ) and the Public Information Office.