SOME 30,000 indigent families and individuals in Dumaguete City who are in a crisis situation due to the prevailing threat of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) will receive assistance from the local government in the form of a rice subsidy.
This, after the city council approved the request of Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo for an appropriation of P7 million for this purpose during Tuesday’s regular session.
Each of the indigent families and individuals, including persons with disabilities (PWDs) and senior citizens, will receive five kilos of rice each, according to Remollo.
Likewise, displaced tricycle drivers, “tempura” vendors, masseurs, and reflexologists, will receive P2,500 each.
The funding assistance will be taken from the Quick Response Fund (QRF) of the city government.
Starting Monday this week, March 23, tricycles were allowed to ferry only a maximum of two passengers at a time, as part of the social distancing measures to prevent the spread of the virus.
This has led to an apparent reduction in the daily income of tricycle drivers by more than 50 percent.
Other daily wage workers such as the tempura vendors and masseurs who were ordered to temporarily suspend their operation are also now in a dilemma how to sustain the daily meals of their families.
Remollo is set to meet with the finance committee of the city council to discuss the possibility of extending hazard pay to the local health workers including nurses, doctors, barangay health workers and others directly involved in the implementation of the directives of the mayor.
He said President Rodrigo Duterte may have allowed this but strict guidelines and procedures have to be observed.
Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo has also called on lending institutions, cooperatives and other financial institutions if they can share the burden of their clients by re-scheduling the collection of debts and payables, or forego with the penalties and interests during this time of crisis.(PNA)