Some 250 displaced tourism sector workers affected by the quarantine restrictions have received in-kind assistance from the Apostolic Vicariate of Puerto Princesa (AVPP) as one of the approaches of its Kalinga ni Maria Kindness Center project for the benefit of locals who were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly with the implementation of new restrictions in the city.
AVPP spokesperson Fr. Eugene Elivera said Friday that the assistance from the project is divided into three ways classified into sectoral support, mobile, and community pantry. The tourism industry is one of the most affected sectors since the pandemic started in 2020, and is first to receive sectoral support.
“Sila kasi ang unang naapektuhan at gusto natin na i-spread ‘yong blessings kasi noong nag-assess tayo kung sino ba talaga ang higit na tinamaan ng krisis, ‘yon ang ating uunahin. Sa susunod ay mga tricycle drivers, sectoral ang ating approach. Sa sunod ay mag-mobile na rin ang Kalinga ni Maria para maiparamdam natin ang pagmamalasakit hindi lang sa iilan kung hindi sa mas nakararami,” Elivera said.
He added that the AVPP is still finding ways to reach out to residents in areas under hard lockdown.
The AVPP targets to help some 200 individuals daily through the three-approache of the program.
“Meron lang kaming interval na pahinga for packaging, pagkatapos noon ay mamimigay uli. Pero ‘yong pantry, kung ano ‘yong biyaya sa araw na ‘yon ay tuloy-tuloy pa rin. Sa pantry ang ibinibigay natin ay ‘yong consumable,” he said.
The church is still calling for additional donations and volunteers who want to help in preparing and repacking of goods to be distributed each afternoon at 4:00.
“Habang lockdown ay kailangan ng tulong, nakakatuwa naman na marami ang tumutugon pero syempre kailangan ng pagpapatuloy, ‘yon ang challenge,” he said.
The AVPP opened its community pantry on April 20, which is one of the lauded community-based initiatives by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).
CBCP president Archbishop Romulo Valles said in a recent statement that the current efforts extended to support families who need food and other basic goods exemplified the ‘true bayanihan spirit’.
He also encouraged parishes and other religious communities to carry on with their charitable works “even if we are all suffering.”
“Let us again challenge ourselves to continue helping the most needy families in our midst,” Valles said.