Jhonna Garduce relies mainly on selling dried fish at the New Public Market for her family’s livelihood. She has managed to grow her business in the last 12 years, taking advantage of the steady demand particularly from tourists.
The declaration of an “enhanced community quarantine” in the whole of Luzon as a bold measure to combat the spread of the deadly COVID-19 has been immediately felt by Garduce and others like.
She said her daily sales have slumped by over 90 percent since the city government placed Puerto Princesa on lockdown to strictly implement the national policy on “social distancing.”
“Sa dami rin ng suswelduhan, walang pagkukunan pa,” she said.
She has continued to sell her products if only to help her family tide over their daily needs.
“Kahit sabihin na lang natin na pang-almusal na lang namin ang maligtas, okay pa rin,” she said.
“Tanghalian at hapunan ay sa puhunan na lang ibawas at least iyon na lang, kung swertehin na hanggang tanghalian ang maligtas namin, sayang pa rin,” she added.
Meanwhile, unlike the regular days where the traffic of passengers are busy, a spacious terminal was observed a few days after suspension of transportation was also included in the measure against the threat of the virus.
Noel, not his real name, was still selling ice cream to the remaining passengers waiting to get a trip on the rescue trucks deployed by different towns.
“Pangatlong araw na itong bagong luto kaso ngayon wala nang tao, alam na nila na yong usong sakit na ngayon,” he said.
He said that he also wants to stay at their house but the owner of his cart told them to still continue selling.
He said that if only they have a food supply at their house, he will not think twice to just stay and not to work outside.
“Pinapaubos ko na lang ito, hindi na sana kami magbenta o maglako pero sinabihan kami ng may-ari na tuloy, trabaho daw ‘yan kaya lako rin talaga kami,” he said.
“Ayaw na sana namin kasi nga sinasabi ng city, yong sakit nga raw,” he said.
He said that in a whole day, he earns up to P600, but his part is only P150 per day.
“Kung kailan ito maubos, kapag naubos na, hindi na ako magbibenta,” he said.