WHILE some people treat the community quarantine as a breather or some sort of a long-awaited break from the hustle and bustle from work and school, the big chunk of the population is left jobless and has lost sources of income.
Like Lita Alboroto, 75, an ambulant vendor from Dinagat Islands province, who is stuck in Davao City until the threat of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) ends. She usually visits Davao City during special occasions to sell native bags and purses.
“Pag abot nako diri wala pa toy quarantine, kung nakahibalo pa lang ko dili na unta ko mudayon. Di pa ko kauli, naa pa koy daghan karga unya lisod makasakay karon, hulaton na lang nako kanus-a itugot na makabyahe na ang bus. Kaulion na unta ko unsaon man nga bawal man, dilikado. (When I arrived here, the city was not yet placed under community quarantine. If I saw this coming, I should have stayed home (in Dinagat). I can’t go home yet, I have a lot of things to carry back home and transportation is hard this time. I will just wait until I’m allowed to go home. I wanted to go home.” she shared.
She arrived in Davao City on March 8 in time for Araw ng Dabaw celebration. Davao Region Covid-19 Task Force implemented the region-wide community quarantine on March 19. Lita is now staying at her sister’s house, who is also an ambulant vendor.
Her income from ambulant vending, since then, was greatly affected.
“Wala pa gyud ko kabawi sa akong puhunan,” she said adding her capital for her microbusiness was at P30,000.
But sad news did not stop there for Lita. Under section 1.4 of the Davao City Executive Order no. 20 series of 2020, ambulant food and non-food vendors are prohibited to sell anywhere starting Thursday, March 26, 2020. With this, it seems Lita has no other way to even at least regain her capital.
“Wala gyud tay mabuhat, ilang kabubut-on, sila may mamalaod. Musunod na lang ta, para man pud ni sa atong kaayuhan, kadautan man pud nato og musupak ta. Puyo na lang gyud ta, unsaon ta man nisulod man ning virus (We can’t do anything (with the new order), that’s an order from the government. Let’s just follow it because it is for our welfare, we will be at risk if we go against the order. Let’s just stay at home, the virus is here),”Lita said.
Asked about her plans now that she can’t go on selling on the streets, she said she’ll just stay with her sister and use her small income in buying basic goods.
She said she hasn’t heard about the on-going rationing of the City Government for residents.
“Sige pangutan-on namo ang barangay, akong ingnon akong igsoon kay dako pud ning tabang (I will tell my sister about it, this will surely help a lot in our situation,” she said.
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said the city government, through the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO), released an estimated 10,000 packed goods to 30 barangays per day.
CSWDO, since Monday, had already started distributing ration goods to some 23,000 households in 32 villages as part of the city’s effort to support indigent and displaced individuals due to the city-wide community quarantine due to Covid-19.
The spread of Covid-19 has negatively impacted all sectors in the community. The pandemic-affected individuals have many faces. There are those who are health workers risking even their lives just to contain the virus from spreading, and there are those like Lita, who now have no source of income as the quarantine, a measure to protect public health, prohibits her from going to the streets for a living.
And for thousands (or millions) like Lita, the outcry continues to be: When will this end?