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June 1, 2020, 11:44AM
by: Arnel Pelaco
Xyza Cruz Bacani
Prayer, regardless of creed, is the source of hope during desperate times. “Dasal” is the story of how the pandemic restored the faith of the residents of Baseco Compound in Tondo, Manila.
The enhanced community quarantine forced residents of Parola to live in isolation. “Damayan” chronicles how the lockdown, hunger, and uncertainty made a community realized that they can count on each other even more.
At the heart of Smokey Mountain lies a close-knit community, where scavenging is the bread and butter of most residents.
With the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine, many lost their source of income as they were forced to stay at home. “Kalakal” weaves the stories of resilience amid silent chaos.
Filipino resilience is the product of their resourcefulness. Now faced with an invisible, unfamiliar enemy, “Diskarte” unveils how a group of priests in Bicutan use their resourcefulness to help the community cope in these strange times.
Project Ugnayan, a multi-sectoral cooperation
Recognizing that hunger is the primary challenge to overcome in an emergency, Ayala Corporation President and Chief Operating Officer Fernando Zobel de Ayala—in collaboration with the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF) and Caritas Manila—kicked off Project Ugnayan, a fund-raising initiative that aims to give relief to the economically vulnerable in a timely, targeted, and dignified manner.
“We realized that by engaging our friends and business partners in the private sector—including Caritas Manila and the Asian Development Bank (ADB)—we would be able to effectively bridge our people’s food needs until the government’s assistance programs started full operations,” Zobel said.
Through Caritas Manila and its network of parish priests, volunteers, and barangay captains,Project Ugnayan–Damayan was able to distribute P1,000 grocery vouchers to 1,371,855 families or 6,859,275 individuals in the most challenged communities of the Greater Manila Area. These vouchers were distributed to barangays with nearby grocery stores so that the exchange could be easily facilitated.
Meanwhile, Father Anton Pascual, the head of Caritas Manila, emphasized that Project Ugnayan is the perfect opportunity to spread hope and revive people’s faith.
“To be in touch with the poor is crucial for authenticity and for ensuring you have the right impact and will make Filipino’s better,” he said.
Other distribution channels were tapped to reach more individuals. As of May 20, ABS-CBN’s Pantawid ng Pag-Ibig has provided assistance to 17 Metro Manila local government units as well as the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal for the benefit of more than 790,000 families or around 3,000,000 people.