The Manila City government has provided food assistance to the families of public transportation drivers, public market vendors, and mall employees who tested positive for the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) through its free mass swab testing operations.

300619 manilaMayor 08vicoy copy - Manila city gov’t provides food assistance to families of workers with COVID-19
Manila Mayor Isko Moreno (ALI VICOY / MANILA BULLETIN)

Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso announced this after some workers expressed concerns about not being able to support their families as they undergo their 14-day quarantine.

This concern could convince others not to get tested for the deadly disease so they could continue to provide for their families, he said.

“Tulad ng kompromiso ko sainyo, pipilitin nating yakapin hangga’t kaya nating yakapin. Pipilitin nating maibsan ‘yung mga agam-agam o pangamba na baka magutom ang inyong pamilya (As with my compromise for you, we will push ourselves to embrace everyone as much as we can. We will push ourselves to ease your worries that your family might go hungry),” he said.

“Huwag na po kayong mag-alala. Habang kayo ay nasa quarantine facility at hindi niyo alam kung may makakain ang inyong pamilya, as we speak, as in now, ang inyong pamahalaang lungsod ay magde-deliver ng konting ayuda para masigurado na may makakain ang inyong pamilyang inyong pinagsisikapan na mairaos (Do not worry anymore. While you are in the quarantine facility, not knowing if your family has food to eat, as we speak, as in right now, the city government is delivering some relief goods to ensure that the families that you work hard to support will have something to eat),” he added.

The Manila mayor said each family will receive a sack of rice, canned goods, and other grocery items.

Domagoso told the workers who contracted the disease to focus on their healing because their families are being taken care of.

“Huwag na po kayong mangamba, ha, huwag na kayong mag-alala. Ayoko na madagdagan ang mga iniisip ninyo, kayo ay may sakit, may coronavirus. Nangangamba nga kayo na sana gumaling kayo, kaawaan kayo ng Diyos. At the same time, habang nasa loob kayo ng quarantine, inaalala niyo ‘yung pamilya niyo kung makakakain (Do not worry anymore. I do not want to add to the things in your mind. You are sick, you have coronavirus. You are worrying about your healing, may God have mercy on you. At the same time, while you are under quarantine, you are worrying about your family if they will be able to eat),” he said.

“Focus yourselves. Magdasal kayo sa Panginoong Diyos. Tibayan ninyo ang inyong damdamin (Pray to the God Almighty. Be courageous),” he added. “Maraming nabubuhay. Posible na mailigtas kayo (There are many who recovered. It is possible that you will be saved).”

In a Facebook post on Monday, the local chief executive said over 4,000 workers have already been tested for two weeks in the city government’s mass swab testing operations.

On October 6, the local government began its free mass swab testing operations for the city’s working class after Manila opened its second molecular laboratory in Sta. Ana Hospital.

Among those who were given free swab tests included public transportation drivers, vendors from the city’s 17 public markets, and mall and hotel employees.

Through the mass swab testing operation, Domagoso said they want to ensure the safety of both the workers and the consumers in the city.

As of Sunday noon, Manila has a total of 18,790 cases, data from the city government showed. Of this figure, 624 are active cases, 17,609 have recovered, and 557 have died.

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