The Roxas National Comprehensive High School (RNCHS) of Roxas municipality has extended help to around 400 families of some of its students who were affected by the COVID-19 crisis by giving them supplies of rice, vegetables, and fresh fish.
They were distributed to the students on April 3, said Dolores Gallego, assistant school principal II of RNCHS.
The school management has encouraged the whole faculty and staff to give rice and any amount they could offer to provide food packs, which would consist of 2.5 kilos of rice, some vegetables, and fresh fish bought from local farmers and fishermen of the town.
Gallego told Palawan News that the community service started when she shared a challenge encouraging the department heads of the school to donate one sack of rice each to extend to their students.
“Nagsimula po ito noong nag-challenge ako sa mga department heads namin na magbibigay ng isang sako ng rice. Binilang ko po meron kaming 8 department heads at isang non-teaching, nag-target po ako ng 9 sacks and after 2 days nagbigay ng P10,000 ang PTA (Parents-Teachers Association) namin. Nagbigay rin ang mga teachers ng bawat department at umabot ng P55,000 ang na-raise namin na pondo. Nakapag-pack kami ng 19 sacks of rice noong Friday at ngayong araw ay 2 sako at kalahati,” Gallego said.
She said receiving their salaries early from the Department of Education (DepEd) also gave them the opportunity to help the students.
Gallego also said the idea of the community service also arose from the “rants” of some residents who complain that they have not received help.
“Kasi kong titingnan mo ang social media, ang daming nagrereklamo na mga taga-barangay, inisip namin kung kamusta kaya ang mga estudyante namin, baka ‘yong mga estudyante namin wala ng kinakain, kaya naisip namin na bakit di kaya kami magbigay total nagsweldo naman kami ng maaga, sabi namin total nakatipid naman kami sa pamasahe kasi we are working from home, so ‘yong natipid namin naisip namin na ibigay nalang sa iba,” she said.
She also said that they have identified their beneficiaries based on the names listed by their advisers and they are prioritizing families who need help badly.
They also came up with the idea of buying fresh fish and vegetables to be given to the families to also help the farmers and fishermen that could not transport their harvests due to the ban on inter-municipal travel.
“Nakita kasi namin na nagkaroon ng problema sa paglabas ng mga gulay sa mga barangay, at mga isda na galing sa mga isla, so wala silang mga buyer dahil hindi nga makalabas ng Palawan ang mga isda. Yong mga mangingisda sa ngayon walang mabebentahan ng kanilang mga huli, kaya bumili kami ng mga isda at gulay sa kanila, ito po ‘yong isinasama namin sa food packs nila kung hindi isda, gulay, naisip ko kasi na hindi lang dapat ang mga makakatanggap ang makikinabang dapat pati ‘yong mga mangingisda at nagbebenta ng gulay, so kung bibili tayo sa kanila ng isasama sa ipamimigay, doble ang matutulungan natin pati ang mga food producers matutulungan natin,” she said.
Gallego said that all of 179 teaching and non-teaching staff, willingly shared any amount they can give. They also exerted their time, effort in packaging the food packs, and delivering them to the houses.
As of now, there are over 400 families that have received their help in Barangays 1, 2, 3, 4, new Barbacan, Minara, San Nicolas, Sandoval, Iraan, Tumarbong, Green Island and will be helping more families as long as they still have the fund.
She also reminded their students to stay at home and be healthy and if there are problems they could ask for help from their teachers.
“Para sa mga estudyante namin stay at home wag po kayong lalabas, in that way makakatulong kayo dito sa pagharap ng problema sa COVID-19 crisis, stay at home, stay healthy kaya gulay ang sinasama namin para kahit papano masustansya ang kinakain, kung may kailangan kayo pwede naman ninyong i-contact ang nga teachers ninyona andyan sa barangay ninyo para mapapuntahan namin kayo,”
The activity was headed by Dr. Joel Gulane, Principal IV, and Gallego, in coordination with the school department heads, teaching, and non-teaching personnel, with the support of the PTA led by Roy Coronado and the Sangguniang Kabataan of Roxas.