A family of seven (7) from Barangay Kauswagan started a small crops and vegetable garden on a vacant lot to somehow provide food on their table and an additional income for the family as the community quarantine continues in the city.
Mrs. Lucena Bulalajos is a barangay sweeper whose salary is insufficient for the needs of the family. On the other hand, his husband is a jeepney driver whose livelihood has greatly been affected by COVID-19 following the city ordinance on social distancing among passengers in public vehicles. This spurred them to make use of the vacant
lot to construct a garden as the family has been into growing plants even before the pandemic.
“Kay wala naman mi trabaho ug insaktong pangita tungod sa pandemic, naka huna-huna mi na magtanom kay mao man pod na amo hilig ug taas naman pod [among] bakante na oras para among matutokan ang pagpananom para naa mi panghingwaan sa adlaw adlaw na panud-an ug extra income,” Mrs. Bulalajos explained.
(Since we are jobless for the meantime and we have no permanent source of income due to the pandemic, we were thinking about planting because it is what we are passionate about and we have much time to do it, so we could also have a source of food and extra income.)
This vegetable garden started when a family friend who happens to be studying under an agriculture program gave them seedlings. Got interested they bought more and started growing them on April 9, 2020. Since then, the whole family has been helping each other in taking care of the crops and vegetables.
“Matag alas kwatro sa kadlawon magsugod na ug bisbis ug sa hapon sa alas tres magsugod na pod usab og bisbis … kauban ako, akong bana, ug mga anak,” she narrated.
(At four o'clock in the dawn we start to water the plants as well as at 3 o'clock in the afternoon … I am with my husband and my children.)
The family has grown 17 kinds of vegetables, crops and herbs namely: onion leaves (sibuyas dahonan), sweet potato leaves (camote tops), tomato, Chinese water spinach (Chinese kangkong), luffa (patola), lemon basil (bawing), eggplant (talong), chili pepper (sili), pineapple (pinya), corn (mais), malabar spinach (alugbati), oregano (kalabo), moringa (malunggay), string beans (sitaw), cassava (binggala), lemongrass (tanglad), and bok choy (petchay). In a span of one month, the family already harvested the fruits of their labor and earned some money.
The garden doesn’t just provide them with food and extra income but it also serves as a form of exercise for the whole family.
“Dili pod ingon na para kalingawan o kapangitaan apan isip usab na ihersisyo sa amoang mga lawas ug dugang sustansya sa kalawasan sa tibook pamilya,” Mrs. Bulalajos shared.
(It’s not just for fun or source of income but it is also a form of exercise and more nourishment for the whole family.)
With the positive results gained by the family in gardening, Mrs. Bulalajos encouraged her fellow Kagay-anons to do the same especially those who have vacant lots.
“Ang akoang ikaaghat sa akoang mga isig-katao ug kaigsoonan sa palibot na adunay luna maskin magamay man o madako na mamahimong matamnan, buhata ninyo ang pagpananom aron inyong makita ang inyong gihagoan ug masud-ong nga maka-harvest kamo og mga presko na mga gulay na maoy makatabang sa pang adlaw-adlaw na panginahanglan,” she said, emphasizing the benefits of vegetables in strengthening one’s health to fight against the virus.
(I encourage my fellow citizens and relatives around the area who have space, large or small, to grow plants, embark on gardening so you can see what you have been working for and see that you can harvest fresh vegetables which could help with your daily needs.)
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(Note: This is an opinion piece by Phoebe Mae A. Juanico, a Graduate School student from the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines.)
The novel coronavirus pandemic has swept all over the world, instilling fear, threatening our own health and the health of our loved ones. As a daughter, wife, and mother, this pandemic made me anxious and it has caused me to panic. I know for a fact that our healthcare system would not be able to handle if there would be an overwhelming number of infected individuals.
How can I protect the people I love? How will we survive? Will this come to an end, anytime soon? A lot of things ran in my head when this all started. I even had difficulty sleeping and it destroyed my sense of focus for a couple of days. Then it hit me: How will I pull through if I will not change the way I think? How will I protect my family if I will succumb to fear?
Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the outbreak of COVID-19 may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and it can cause strong emotions in adults and children. Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger.
I have to change my perspective, the more I fuel my head with negative thoughts, the more I suffer. A person must not just focus on physical health to survive this pandemic. A healthy mind and a positive outlook are also essential. It continues to be challenging since there’s isolation due to quarantine, I cannot move around and visit my family and go out with friends to ask for comfort; this made me even sadder. Being sad would only add up to my anxiety, so I had to manage the rising panic in my head and took a deep breath.
In one of my readings, I found out that a pandemic is a rare - and for most of us, new — phenomenon. It is beyond any single person’s control, and so it can be overwhelming for some. It naturally triggers anxiety.
Pandemics have in fact been beaten in the past by scientists, by governments, by all nations, and by all sectors working together. Knowing that should give us a sign of relief. Remain as calm as possible and start focusing on things that you actually have control of. A person must have control over his body. Practicing good breathing exercise helps.
Engaging in healthy activities could also be a remedy. Healthy activities can include your personal rituals of hygiene, fixing, and managing your surroundings, establishing daily routines — all within the bounds of “social distancing,” of course. If you’re a green-thumb, you can actually make planting or gardening a hobby; it’s satisfying once you see them sprouting and growing and it’s sustainable, too.
Since I cannot have physical contact with my loved ones, I stayed connected with them. In these trying times, advancement in technology is bliss. There are different social media platforms you could use to be able to reach the people you love. I also have my kids and husband with me so I made most of the available time with them.
I have also been more discerning to consuming news about the pandemic. I realized that even though we wanted to be well informed about what’s happening around us; too much information also can add up to anxiety. Some mental health associations and organizations recommend building a news reading or watching routine that takes place just once or twice a day. Of course, avoid fake news. Make sure to read or watch only from credible sources such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the local health authorities.
According to WHO, fear is a normal reaction in situations of uncertainty. Keep in touch with the people who care for you and know who you can contact for support if your mental health declines. It is very important that one must take good care of his mental health. Our mental health is as important as our physical health.
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From a single tweet sent out on the Internet to a growing youth movement, the FundForward Initiative continues to prove that the collective effort of the youth is a force to be reckoned with.
The FundForward Initiative is a local crowdfunding platform that aims to support small-scale, vulnerable communities greatly affected by COVID-19. It is powered by the youth of Cagayan de Oro City, empowering those who are leading positive actions in their communities — big or small. The project sets its sights on giving the youth a chance to fully work their magic to giving aid where it is needed and to giving voice to the voiceless.
“I think there are different initiatives out there and their focus might not be the same with us — and that's okay," says Adam Anay, Project Head of the FundForward Initiative. "In times like this, I believe we need to see past the competition but understand that we can't get out of this if we won't work side-by-side reinforcing each other. May more initiatives to help others arise!”
Anay, together with a small band of volunteers, are working together to make this project happen.
He shares: “We want to help as many small-scale, youth initiatives in the city. I think that is the end game. As long as there are people who are willing to help, we continue to help.”
The FundForward Initiative recognizes small communities greatly affected by the pandemic, aiming to build a community of young donors to make an impact in their very own city, to give them a chance to help in however way they can.
“If more people will know about this, then the faster we can bring help to those who are experiencing difficulty brought about by this pandemic,” Adam adds.
Since FundForward started it has been able to campaign for projects such as Tabang Sikad, Andam Higala, and Tabang Uswag — all aiming to serve at-risk families in Carmen, Calaanan, and Kauswagan.
It has raised PHP64,515.88 from 48 donors. This has reached 152 at-risk families in the city. The initiative has also partnered with almost 60 Kagay-anon youth, from core volunteers to project teams in order to make it possible.
As of the moment, the group sets its vision to becoming a crowdfunding platform helping youth groups with livelihood opportunities in the middle of the pandemic as we transition to the new normal.
“We have been labeled for the longest time as apathetic and [seemingly] not caring for the world, it’s time to change that,” Anay shares when asked about the project being powered by CDO youth.
“Our future is at stake – we can start the change the world needs now.”
Visit their page for more information: facebook.com/FundForwardInitiative/
Published in News and Article
(Note: This is an opinion piece by John David O. Moncada, a Graduate School student from the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines.)
Being a teenage mother who still chose to attend school as a senior high student, one of the things that Kristina, 19, is thankful for is the due consideration given to her. Her class schedule was made flexible. She was even allowed to bring her baby to school so she can breastfeed her.
From the comment she wrote on the looking-for post I made on one of the Facebook groups related to Barangay Bugo, to the manner she speaks during the interview — that is, with conviction — it felt that Kristina is a staunch advocate for breastfeeding.
Dugay ra g’yud kaayo nako gusto e-share akong breastfeeding journey kay daghan man gud ko’g friends nga teenage moms. (I’ve long been wanting to share my breastfeeding journey especially to my friends who are also teenage moms.)” When I asked her what she knows about the importance of breastfeeding, right away, she enumerated three — following the rule-of-three strategy, if my memory serves me right, a lesson in oral communication.
“First,” she started, “grabe siya ka nutritious (It is very nutritious).”
It is. Credible sources say that breastmilk contains proteins, fats, vitamins, and lactose. All of these are important for the health and development of the baby.
“In this pandemic,” Nadine Casiño, brainchild of Modern Nanays of Mindanao that advocates for breastfeeding and who Kristina has met in Alima Mother Support Center said, “Breastfeeding is very important because breastmilk is the only food that can create active antibodies against viruses and bacteria. It is the most secure food commodity for infants.” It does not just protect the baby from COVID-19 but from diseases like pneumonia and diarrhea as well.
The emotional state of wellbeing and the diet of mothers may have been affected because of the pandemic, but the truth is, the quality of the breastmilk remains the same, Nadine revealed. She added, “You do not need perfect food to make perfect milk.”
Ikaduha, (Second),” Kristina continued, “accessible siya (it is accessible).”
She finds breastfeeding easier compared to when she prepares formula milk. In doing the latter, she doubts: “Wala pa kay sure kung safe ba na ang water nga imong gigamit (the water you use may not be safe to use).”
Although, Kristina shared to me that she struggled during the first three days after she gave birth. She did not have breast milk. Her prolactin and oxytocin hormones may have not been properly stimulated at that time. Luckily, she has support which is important in this journey. Her aunt and cousin were there to breastfeed her baby, with Kristina’s consent, in lieu of her. Eventually, days after, she was able to produce milk.
Tapos dayonang third is kuan (Third is)… mas ma-bond mo ug ayo sa imong baby (it strengthens the bond between a mother and child).”
She recalled that her friends would envy her saying, “maayo pa mo sa imo baby, close kaayo mo bakami sa akong baby, dili (good for you that you’re close with your baby; my baby and I aren’t).” Kristina attributes this bond to the close physical contact she and her child has during breastfeeding.
Kristina revealed that she and her three siblings were formula-milk babies. But this is just because her mother has a physiological problem with her breasts. Growing up, Kristina felt that she is not close relationally with her mother. But now, her mother encourages her to breastfeed her baby so that, she seems to imply, history will not repeat itself.
It has been the practice of the barangay health center in Bugo to promote exclusive breastfeeding for babies until they are six-month old to every pregnant women and lactating mothers who pay a visit to the center. Kenn L Cabunoc, Nurse III, head of the center, assured this, citing Executive Order 51 or simply known as the Milk Code.
The center explains how economically advantageous breastfeeding is and how easier to digest breastmilk is. More importantly, Cabunoc added something that Kristina said as well, breastfeeding develops bonding between the mother and her child.
Safety is of utmost importance during this time that is why Cabunoc reminded lactating mothers to observe personal hygiene always. This includes wearing of mask, cleaning of the nipples, and washing of hands with soap and water for thirty seconds. Although, “there is no evidence yet of transmission through breastfeeding,” Dr. Anna Lisa Ong-Lim, chief of the Infection and Tropical Disease department of the Philippine General Hospital and President of the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society of the Philippines was quoted in an online news report last week.
Recalling her past, Kristina said, “Feel biya nako na bad influence ko (I feel that I’m a bad influence).” I felt her remorse. She held her baby’s stroller and said, “Pero so far, so good kay na fix na nako akong self tungod ra pod sa iyaha (but so far, so good; I’ve fixed myself because of my baby),” Katrina glanced to her one-year old little princess, Athena Catriona, and continued to say, “Siya ra pod ang inspiration nako (she is my inspiration).”
Her baby’s second name reminds me of the term silver lining. Kristina, who wants to be a flight stewardess, has been through a gloomy experience but every cloud, it has been said, has a silver lining. The consoling part of Kristina’s experience are the life lessons of being a teenage mother underlying the lessons in breastfeeding that she can share to her peers. They are worth listening to.
Lizzie Streit, MS, RDN, LD. (n.d.). What is colostrum? Nutrition, benefits, and downsides. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/bovine-colostrum#what-it-is
Beyond numbers: what the flattening curve really means; Protecting children in the time of COVID-19. (n.d.). Welcome to Department of Health website | Department of Health website. https://www.doh.gov.ph/doh-press-release/BEYOND-NUMBERS%3A-WHAT-THE-FLATTENING-CURVE-REALLY-MEANS%3B-PROTECTING-CHILDREN-IN-THE-TIME-OF-COVID-19
(n.d.). world breastfeeding week 2020 | Support breastfeeding for a healthier planet!https://worldbreastfeedingweek.org/2016/pdf/BreastfeedingandSDGsMessaging%20WBW2016%20Shared.pdf
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Sunday, 10 May 2020 12:46

The Hardest Mother’s Day

Note: This Mother’s Day special was written by Ezel R. Lambatan, brother of Kenneth Lambatan, a Kagay-anon nurse who recently died from the novel coronavirus at St. George’s Hospital in London. This heart-warming essay is dedicated to their Mama Ludy and to all the mothers whose love and light continue to make this world a brighter place. (With additional interview by Justin Nagac and editing by Stephen Pedroza)

On the night of April 27, Mama Ludy faced the screen of a mobile phone. She looked at her son Ken through a video call, intubated and dependent on the life support equipment. My mother opened her Bible then read verses to him. Into the next minute, she was on a church hymnal, singing the songs “Amazing Grace” and “The Old Rugged Cross.” When the time came for his life support to be turned off, Mama Ludy said the hardest “I love you” and “Thank you” any mother could give.

It was the worst goodbye a mother could ever give to her son.
Mother of a modern hero
Meet Ludivina Lambatan, also known as “Ludy” by her colleagues and peers. A woman of faith and dedication. One of her sons, Kenneth Lambatan, 33, was a cardiac research nurse in London. She lost one of her great gems due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
As a mother, she always wanted the best for her children. When Kuya Ken graduated from high school, Mama Ludy suggested Kuya Ken to take nursing. My Kuya Ken obeyed Mama’s suggestion. When Kuya Ken was getting into the field of nursing healthcare, Mama Ludy made sure that she provided and supported all the things that Kuya Ken needed. She made sure that she was with Kuya Ken every step of the way.
After graduating, Kuya Ken served at the Northern Mindanao Medical center (NMMC) for eight good years. She saw how dedicated and passionate he was with his calling. It was evident in his work ethics and through the words of his friends and colleagues. Being a hands-on mom that she is, every after Kuya’s work shift, she would always check up on him by asking how his day went. Though my brother was a silent type at home, Mama Ludy has always felt when Kuya was doing well or when he was sick.
My brother was a go-getter and he always wanted to pursue greener pastures abroad, so my mother was just behind him supporting his dreams. When he moved to London, the communication lines became more meaningful. My mother was beaming with pride as my brother shared how he would go to work through his bike, how he loved the London weather, and all other stories under the sun. Three years as a nurse in London, Mama Ludy saw how Kuya Ken made a name for himself as he became a research nurse in the cardiology ward of St. George's Hospital.
The hardest day of her life
She recounted the time when Kuya Ken told her that he had to be deployed in front lines of curbing the spread of COVID-19. He was assigned as the bed manager of the hospital. Mama Ludy was apprehensive on this move as she wanted Kuya to go back to the Philippines. As a research nurse, Kuya Ken had all the reasons not to be in during the hospital’s most critical time but it did not deter him. He heeded the call of service.
“It is my sworn duty, Ma,” Kuya Ken said. “I will respond under any circumstance.”
When he was already in the front lines, my brother told her during one of their online conversations that he had a hard cough and a sore throat. Mama got anxious and was badly asking for Kuya Ken to seek medical attention right away. Kuya Ken said that Mama need not to worry and asked her to pray for him. The next thing she knew was that his son was already in the intensive care unit and was in critical condition.
My mother prayed harder for days and nights but Kuya Ken’s condition didn’t get any better. Until one day, the doctors consulted Mama Ludy that they needed to stop all the machines that supported my brother’s life. My mom asked God for a miracle. She even called all her churchmates, colleagues, and peers to rally for prayers over her son. Then the hardest day of her life came.
“My son Ken died so that others may live,” Mama Ludy said.
On Mother’s Day
“It’s going to be my most painful Mother’s Day,” she said, as she relived the pain she felt when Kuya Ken’s life support was turned off.
Calling it unbearable was an understatement. Not being able to take care of him and not being by his side during his last days have haunted her with deepest regret. The thoughts of what if she could have gone first before Ken, she would do so. He was only half her age and she was certain that he still had dreams that he wanted to achieve for himself and for our family.
If there was one thing that comforted her, it was knowing how my brother had a strong relationship with God. She is coping with the situation by consoling to the word of God. Through faith, she was quite relieved knowing that Kuya Ken is now in a much better place. No more weeping, no more sorrows.
“Life is short … life is not ours … and life is from God,” she said.
In this trying time, she calls for a message to focus on God. Mama Ludy believes that God has his own ways and she wants all the mothers and their children to put all their trust to the Almighty One. She will always remember Kuya Ken as a kind, loving, and generous son. He was a good provider to our family, especially to his siblings.
In another life, Kuya Ken’s face will be the first one she will look for in heaven.
We often describe our mothers as the beaming light of the household, but recently my mother’s light was tested by fate. I know she can move on with her life, collecting more days, but none of them will outweigh the one she wished she had back. Behind all Kuya Ken’s stories is Mama Ludy’s story. Hers is where ours begin.
Today, on this special occasion, I am writing this for the two angels with one heart. For a fallen hero and for the strongest woman I know.
Published in News and Article
(DISCLAIMER: This is an opinion piece by John David O. Moncada, a Graduate School student from the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines.)
Daisy, 34, led me inside the sala with her baby clasped in her arms. It was dim and the preaching from the “vegetarian church” just right next to her parent’s house in Zone 6, Bugo was competing with my voice that was trying to sound grateful to her for agreeing to be interviewed. So we transferred to the dirty kitchen at the back of the house where it was quieter.
It was quiet but the anxiety inside Daisy seems apparent through the post she made on a Facebook page of “Feed Hungry Babies” initiative. The exact chopped words say: hello po. pwd ba nku e apply akong baby as beneficiary. 6mos.na xa.i am a solo parent (Hello. May I apply for the benefit of my baby? He is six months old. I am a solo parent.).
She sat in front of me and then in a little while, she excused herself so that she could lay her six-month-old baby, Cris Joshua, next to her sister inside their room. She came back and took her seat again and then I threw the first question in Bisaya: Gigutom imong bata?
While hoping that she can get whatever little help from the said initiative, Daisy revealed in the course of our conversation, where she sounded apologetic most of the time, that she actually has an initiative of her own. She has started cultivating a small vegetable garden in a house that was just leant to her by a generous friend.
Sa sud-an, di man pwede sige ka ug de lata mao nang karun naa nakoy gulayan sa balay,” she remarked. (You cannot just eat canned goods all the time that’s why I have started a vegetable garden at home.)
By de lata, she’s referring to the relief goods of six cans of sardines and two cans of corned beef both from the local government units. Along with these de lata are 15 kilos of rice, two packs of noodles, and a pack of coffee and sugar. She is grateful for these supply but not long from now she knows that these will run out. And occupying a house in a gated community makes her uncertain if she will benefit from the amelioration program of DSWD for solo parents like her.
So gikan karon, mamulak na to (eventually, the plants will bear flower),” she said in anticipation about her vegetable garden. “Pwede na dayon siya kan-on with sabaw-sabaw something (and then they can be ingredients for a soup),” she sounded sure.
Daisy brought the microphone closer to her as she enthusiastically had a rundown of the vegetables in her garden: alugbati (Malabar spinach), Chinese kangkong (water spinach), camote tops (young leaves, leafstalks, and stems of sweet potato), sibuyas dahunan (onion leaves), kalamunggay (horseradish) and tanglad (lemon grass). She has planted these vegetables in either tin cans or plastic containers which she has asked tirelessly from her neighbors. And she hanged some on the fence and she placed some on the ground.
What Daisy has done is a response to the call of the government and of various organizations and institutions to plant vegetables in containers and in available spaces in households or in idle spaces in communities at this time of COVID-19. The regional office of the Department of Agriculture (DA) ran an initiative called Ahon Lahat, Pagkaing Sapat (ALPAS) to concretise the call. Vegetable seeds are given out for free from their regional office in Antonio Luna Street in the city to anyone who is interested. The City Agricultural Productivity Office itself gave seeds provided by the DA to some 800 urban gardeners.
Vegetable gardening is to ensure sustained production, availability, accessibility, and affordability of food especially at this time of a health crisis. Archbihop Antonio J Ledesma of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of CDO said that vegetable gardening either in households and in communities encourages local produce that will sustain the vulnerable residents in the informal sector and those who are unable to gainfully employed at this time just like Daisy who used to do work in a beauty salon or through home service on the sideline at weekends pre-COVID-19 days.
Among the vegetables she has in her garden at the moment, camote tops is beneficial for mothers because it is rich in calcium and iron. Alugbati, kalamunggay, and tanglad support lactation. The last two act as a galactagogue, a natural substance to support lactation. According to a study, mothers who consume kalamunggay daily saw significant increases in mothers’ breast milk volume and infant weight gain.
Ginagmay ra man na sir oi (this is just a small-scale garden),” she sent me a message along with snaps of her vegetables post interview via Facebook. But she is interested to have more — I was thinking, perhaps to include beans and legumes which are rich sources of proteins and sweet potatoes and even bananas as substitute for rice — especially that she is a lactating mother at this time of a difficult situation caused by COVID-19.
Para sa akoa ‘kaon ug daghang utan, Daisy, para sa imong baby’ ug dili lang pud para sa iyaha, para pud sa usa nako ka anak, ug para pud sa akong nutrisyon (For me, ‘Daisy you have to eat vegetables for your baby,’ and not just for him, but as well as for my eldest, and for my nutrition),” she preached to her self.
A lesson Daisy Jane, a mother of two, has learned amidst COVID 19 is to save up for the rainy days. She has started cultivating a vegetable gardening in a house she's staying in Poblacion, Tagoloan. Now that she's completed her requirement for graduation and quarantine isn't lifted yet, she has more time with family, especially her six-month old baby, Chris Joshua.
Daisy has now received from Feed Hungry Babies essentials, such as baby food, vitamins, and diapers. For more information on how to help, check out @feedhungrybabiescdo on Facebook.
Daisy hasn't really thought of cultivating a vegetable garden not until she noticed an alugbati growing in an idle space in her home. She has observed that a number of her neighbors have vegetable gardens, too. From alugbati, Daisy now has included kalamunggay, camote tops, among others which are good for her as a lactating mother. She hopes to grow her vegetable garden more.
Agri NorMin chief to families: Grow veggies to ensure food security. (n.d.). Philippines News. https://www.philippinesnews.net/news/264884390/agri-normin-chief-to-families-grow-veggies-to-ensure-food-security
Inc., P. (n.d.). ACDO calls on clergy to open parishes to community food gardening. Mindanao Daily News Online. https://www.mindanaodailynews.com/news/the-region/cagayan-de-oro/acdo-calls-on-clergy-to-open-parishes-to-community-food-gardening
KangKong (Water spinach) is good for pregnancy and babies. (n.d.). Health Benefits of Fruit. https://healthbenefitsfruit.blogspot.com/2016/01/kangkong-water-spinach-is-good-for.html
The amazing benefits of Malunggay (Moringa). (2019, February 27). Motherlove Herbal Company. https://www.motherlove.com/blogs/all/the-amazing-benefits-of-malunggay-moringa
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A resident from Barangay Gusa, Cagayan de Oro City, returned her cash subsidy worth Php6,000 despite being listed as one of the beneficiaries under the Social Amelioration Program (SAP).
Rosalie Villa, 64 and a mother of six, is an existing member of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps). She believes that she is no longer qualified for the SAP subsidy as she has been receiving cash assistance through the 4Ps.
"Kahibalo g’yud ko nga dili nako pwede makadawat [sa SAP] kay 4Ps ko, maong human nako huna-hunaa, ako dayon gipahatod balik ang kwarta," she said.
Villa immediately asked her daughter to return the money during the distribution of cash grants to SAP beneficiaries in their barangay.
The City Government of Cagayan de Oro has lauded her honesty and hopes that others will follow Villa’s example.
According to the DSWD guidelines, existing members of the 4Ps will receive their COVID-19 cash assistance separately and not under the SAP. The agency has released earlier the list of qualified beneficiaries on their respective media channels.
Gusa Brgy Captain Marlo Tabac also reported that another resident returned his SAP subsidy.
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The City Government of Cagayan de Oro has appealed to the public not to discriminate the family members of COVID-19 patients who are undergoing the mandatory quarantine in the City Isolation Units (CIU) or in their own houses.
“Time and again, I have always emphasized that there is the importance of us getting rid of the stigma,” said CIU camp manager Rhyselle Bernadette Descallar, during the May 1 press briefing at the City Hall.
“They need our help, not discrimination, not even the stigma. It is not easy being in their shoes right now. They are going through a lot and they are experiencing mixed emotions.”
Descallar shared that the family members of the patient (PH6783) who recently died due to COVID-19 may have been struggling with “what’s going on around them and it has been affecting them emotionally and mentally.”
“They are very afraid. They are actually not ready to go out of the facility, not because they just don’t want to, but because they fear that the community might not be ready for them.”
Descallar urged the communities to work together in curbing the spread of the novel coronavirus.
“Let us help one another. Let’s get rid of the hate, the stigma. Let us fear COVID-19, but let us not fear the person.”
As reported today, the 17 family members of PH6783 from Sitio Pinikitan of Barangay Camaman-an have undergone swab testing last night.
The Department of Health - Northern Mindanao has already forwarded the swab specimens to the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) in Davao for confirmation.
Local authorities have warned that violators of the “COVID-19 Anti-discrimination Ordinance of Cagayan de Oro City” will be imposed with a fine of Php5,000 and community service for 30 days or imprisonment of not exceeding six months or both.
Prohibited acts under the said city ordinance cover “any form of discrimination against persons with confirmed COVID-19 infection, persons covered under suspect and/or probable cases, close contacts, health workers, hospital employees, and other frontliners.”
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April 8, 2020 - Gisugdan sa CdeO City Government ang proseso sa pag-apud-apod og tabang pinansyal nga gikan sa Social Amelioration Program (SAP) para sa mga labing apektado sa padayon nga gipatuman nga community quarantine. Kini ingon ni CSWD Overseer for Food and Non-Food Cluster Michael Christopher Fabello gikan sa gipatigayon nga ika-23 nga press conference alang sa COVID-19.


Gawas sa mga benipesyaryo sa Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), target karun sa siyudad nga malista ang indigent families ug mga negosyante nga naa sa informal sector nga dili 4Ps beneficiaries nga ma-apil sa SAP.


Matod ni Fabello, gitaga-an na sa siyudad og guidelines ang mga barangay sa mga angay nila buhaton para sa pagrehistro og pag-apud sa tabang pinansyal nga gikan sa SAP sa ilahang mga gisakopan.


Yesterday, sa meeting sa mga punong barangay sa 80 ka barangays, na-explain na sa ila kung unsa ang buhaton. Mag-create og teams ug mag-distribute house to house,


Giklaro usab niya nga ang ang kantidad nga ihatag sa programa kay igo dugang sa lain pa nga tabang pinansyal nga gikan sa gobyerno aron ang tibuok madawatan kay 6,000 pesos.


“Kung naa na silay ayuda gikan sa DOLE pananglit, nahatagan sila ug 5,000 didto, ang apasunon sa DSWD kung qualified siya sa DSWD list, is only 1,000 pesos.”


Ang SAP kay usa ka tabang pinansyal para sa indigent families ug mga naa sa informal business sector nga namugna ubos sa Republic Act 11469 o Bayanihan To Heal As One Act.

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In order to spread hugs and positivity online, Grade 4 students from Indahag Elementary School wrote letters of encouragement for our front liners amidst  COVID-19.

This happened when public school teacher Sheena Yonson was looking for an alternative school activity that her pupils can participate in. She wanted them to understand the current situation and at the same time appreciate the people who are working hard in order for them to stay home.

Teacher Sheena texted parents of the pupils and asked them to write letters of encouragement for health workers, uniformed personnel and vendors. They then needed to take a photo and send it to her via social media. She explained that she was overwhelmed by the positive responses of the parents and the kids.

One letter wrote “ Dear to all Frontliners, Maraming Salamat po sa inyong katapatan at sakripisyo labanan ang COVID-19. Saludo po ako sa inyong lahat. Love u all.”

A mother of her students, who is currently working as a police officer, reached out to Sheena to thank her for the kind gesture.

She expressed that during these times of crisis, family members should understand the needs and the importance of a child. Their voices and views are important too.

Due to COVID-19 outbreak in the country, people in the field of healthcare have been in the frontline battling this epedemic.



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