MANILA – To continuously provide assistance to vulnerable sectors amid the 2019 coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, key government offices will be working during the Holy Week.
Cabinet Secretary and Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases spokesperson Karlo Nograles said among these agencies, the National Food Authority (NFA) will remain open to provide a daily supply of rice.
The country’s staple will be distributed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and local government units (LGUs) to their constituents, he said.
He said NFA warehouses will also continue to serve farmers and cooperatives selling their summer harvest and undertake full-blast milling of palay stocks to maintain rice buffer stocks.
The DSWD has also requested LandBank to be open even on Saturdays to facilitate the implementation of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) for the 17 local government units in the National Capital Region (NCR).
“The DSWD’s NCR Field Office has already facilitated the issuance of checks for the month of April to the Metro Manila LGUs that have already completed their requirements,” he said.
The LGUs are Manila (PHP1.48 billion), Parañaque (PHP621.39 million), Caloocan (PHP1.72 billion), Marikina (PHP449.88 million); Pasig (PHP750.93 million), Quezon City (PHP3.02 billion), Mandaluyong (PHP368.37 million), Muntinlupa (PHP430.68 million), and Taguig (PHP739.97 million).
He said Parañaque has started distribution of the subsidies to target families last Friday, while Manila began implementation last Monday.
As of Monday, he said 16 Metro Manila LGUs have complied with the requirements and are ready to implement the SAP before the Holy Week break, with one NCR LGU committing to comply with the requirements by April 7.
“Per the DSWD, all Metro Manila LGUs have committed to submit the list of families not included in the initial list of beneficiaries at the soonest possible time,” Nograles said.
He said the IATF-EID will continue to hold daily meetings on the government’s efforts to respond to the Covid-19 health crisis.
“Kung kailangan mag-trabaho, magta-trabaho kami (If we need to work, we will continue to work),” he said.
This year’s Holy Week observance falls from April 5 (Palm Sunday) to April 12 (Easter Sunday).
In the Philippines, most commercial establishments either operate on shorter hours or remain closed from Maundy Thursday until Easter Sunday. (PNA)