• Melo Acuna

ADB earmarks US$5 million for PH's fight vs COVID-19

US$5 million grant for food supplies to Filipino households

MANILA – A US$5 million project expected to deliver basic food supplies to about 55,000 poor households in Metro Manila and neighboring areas has been launched by the Asian Development Bank (ADB). It will be recalled the entire island of Luzon has been declared under Enhanced Community Quarantine which is synonymous to a lockdown.

In a press statement sent late Wednesday night, the Manila-based bank said the Rapid Emergency Supplies Provision Project will be implemented under the Tagalog name “Bayan Bayanihan” will leverage ADB and the private sector resources to provide essential food supplies to vulnerable households on Luzon Island, include Metro Manila “to bridge the gap” until other support mechanisms are activated,

The beneficiaries will include the poorest families and members of the informal sector who lost their livelihoods due to the extended period of self-isolation and business closures, measures deemed appropriate by the Duterte government to contain the virus.

The first deliveries of the project, 2,000 50-kilomgran sacks of rice, were made Tuesday in Caloocan, Manila, Pasay and Quezon cities. Rice, drinks, canned sardines, tuna and corned beef are up for delivery to Malabon City tomorrow.

The ADB said more than 75% of the country’s confirmed COVID-19 cases are in Manila and nearby areas described as a dense urban area that is also the largest contributor to the country’s economy. It will be recalled President Rodrigo Duterte signed the “Bayanihan to Heal as One Act” which promises to grant emergency cash assistance from 5,000 to 8,000 pesos or US$98 to US$156 a month to about 18 million low-income households.

ADB said the US$5 million grant will augment the initiatives of the government and the private sector. By collaborating with philanthropic, private entities, the ADB homes to attract more contributions to support the expansion of the program. (Melo M. Acuña)

A shanty town adjacent to the Philippine Statistics Authority main office in East Triangle, Quezon City, (Melo M. Acuna photo)

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