Pasig City began on Saturday (Dec. 5) the distribution of “Pamaskong Handog” gift bags to each family in the city.
Mayor Vico Sotto kicked off this year’s house-to-house distribution of Christmas gift bags to the first 13 barangays in the city where each family will receive a gift bag from the local government.
With the ongoing threat of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, Sotto said the distribution team were subjected to swab tests to ensure the safety of residents.
“Medyo malungkot dahil bawal muna ang mga party. Nandyan pa rin ang banta ng [COVID-19] (It’s a bit sad because parties are not allowed this year. The threat of COVID-19 is still here),” he said.
“Pero gagawin natin ang lahat para maging masaya pa rin sa Pasig ngayong Kapaskuhan (But we will do everything to ensure that Christmas will still be merry in Pasig),” he added.
For this year’s Pamaskong Handog, the local government has allotted about P204 million to produce 360,000 bags, according to a cost breakdown shared by Sotto on his social media pages recently.
Each gift bag costs P565 which includes two kilos of rice, spaghetti, condensed milk, nata de coco, corned beef, luncheon meat, fruit cocktail, canned sausage, and cheese.
Aside from food items, the local government also included washable cloth masks in the gift bags.
Residents were told to present a proof of residence and their PasigPass, the city’s digital contact tracing solution, upon receiving the food bags.
“When no one is in the house to receive, you can still get your Pamaskong Handog bags. We will leave a letter with instructions on how to claim it,” the local government said.
“The distribution in condominiums has a different schedule. The Pamaskong Handog Team will coordinate with condominium administrators,” it added.
With only 20 days before Christmas, the mayor urged residents to avoid holding parties and reunions this holiday season as the threat of COVID-19 still remains.
“Ang pinaka-ayaw nating pwedeng mangyari ay pagdating ng Enero, bigla tayong magkaroon ng spike doon sa bilang ng COVID-19 kung medyo masyadong relax tayo (What we don’t want to happen is that come January we will have a spike in coronavirus cases because we let down our guard),” Sotto said.
“Kung gusto natin na mapabilis na matapos itong pandemya, o at least bumaba na talaga ng husto ang bilang ng mga kaso ng COVID sa lungsod natin at sa buong bansa, kailangan magtulungan tayo (If we want to end this pandemic as soon as possible, or at least reduce the number of COVID cases in our city and across the country, we must work together),” he added.