By Martin Sadongdong
At least 1,500 families in the cities of Pasay and Makati have received vegetables bought from Benguet farmers and rice as the Philippine Army distributed food assistance to communities affected by the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Luzon.
Colonel Ramon Zagala, Army spokesperson, said on Tuesday that three kilos of rice and three kilos of assorted vegetables, including cabbage, sayote, and carrots were given to 500 families from Barangay Southside, Makati and Barangay 156, Pasay.
According to Zagala, the vegetables were bought by private organizations Lucio Tan Group and Jaime V. Ongpin Foundation from the United Benguet Agri-Pinoy Trading Center Stakeholder Credit Cooperative in the benefit of Benguet farming communities.
Meanwhile, the sacks of rice were donated by cigarette and tobacco company Philip Morris.
The said produce were repacked and turned over to the Army last Monday for distribution to the affected residents, Zagala said.
According to Zagala, the distribution of food assistance was aimed at mitigating the impact of the prolonged ECQ on the livelihood of farming communities, and to help alleviate the unrest of daily wage earning families.
Cabinet secretary and Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) spokesperson Karlo Nograles confirmed that the ECQ was extended by President Duterte until 11:59 p.m. of April 30.
“The Philippine Army extends its gratitude to the partners who generously support our citizens. Your Philippine Army will continue to render our service to our partners in delivering relief to the families who need it the most,” Zagala said.