CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Deputy Speaker and 2nd District Rep Rufus Rodriguez appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte to extend ‘ayuda’ or financial aid amounting to P6,000 to the families in the city affected by the imposition of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
Rodriguez sent a letter to the Chief Executive on Friday (July 16) informing him that the entire city of Cagayan de Oro was placed under strictest enhance community quarantine (ECQ), aggravated by the recent discovery of 11 covid delta variant patients – six of whom were from Cagayan de Oro and 1 in Gingoog City in Mindanao.
“Now under ECQ, people are required to stay home, will not be able to work and they will not have income to purchase food and other basic necessities for their families for the next two weeks from July 16 to July 31,” he said.
“In view of the same, may I request for cash assistance of P6,000 for each family in Cagayan de Oro since it is already under ECQ,” Rodriguez added in his letter to the President.
He pointed out that while the Bayanihan to Heal as One Law or Republic Act No. 11469 mandated financial aid of P6,000 to P8,000 for poor households for 2 months in 2 tranches in the entire Philippines, low-income families in Cagayan de Oro “received only the first tranche of P6,000 because the city was not declared under ECQ but only under GCQ (general community quarantine).”
The House leader sent a similar letter to Secretary Rolando Joselito Bautista of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, which administers the cash assistance funds for areas where ECQ is enforced.
In a separate letter to Secretary Francisco Duque lll of the Department of Health (DOH), who chairs the IATF, Rodriguez asked him to “immediately send a team of medical experts on the Covid-19 Delta variant to Cagayan de Oro City to assist the city in implementing the proper steps to prevent the outbreak of the Delta variant.”
He also requested that “more vaccines be re-directed and immediately sent to Cagayan de Oro, which is now the battleground of this Delta variant to protect our city residents.”
“It is in working together and acting with caution that we will be able to successfully defeat the Covid-19 pandemic specially this Delta variant”, he stressed.
The House leader expressed alarm over the spike in Covid-19 cases in his city, noting that more than half of the 11 Delta variant carriers detected yesterday were found in Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental.
He called on the DOH and local authorities to strengthen border and pandemic control measures and enforcement of basic health protocols.
“My constituents are wondering where the Delta variant carriers came from, why they were not detected at the airports, seaports or places of origin,” he said.
MOST AFFECTED FAMILIES
One of the most affected residents of the city were the construction workers although ECQ allowed them to continue working following the stricter guidelines by the Department of Public Works and Highways. However, most of the contractors have also opted to stop the projects since yesterday.
Neil Manita, 40, a resident of Kauswagan, this city and carpenter of an ongoing construction project in the City, said he needed to send his daughter to his mother since he was ordered to stop from working as a carpenter.
Manita said he doesn’t know where to get his family’s daily subsistence since he just lost his job as a construction worker who is dependent only on the weekly wages from the company he work for.
Enday Sabinoy, 51, and whose husband was a motorela driver said the imposition of ECQ was another burden. His husband could hardly earn P200 a day while the city was placed under MECQ for barely a month.
“Now that we are on the highest classification. I don’t know if my husband could still earn P200. I have an extended family to feed. I need help from the government,” Sabinoy told MDNN in vernacular.
CITY LOSES MILLIONS
Menwhile, City Councilor George Goking also told the media, the city could lose millions of pesos everday due to the new classification of the city.
Goking said the city would not only suffer from millions of pesos in losses but thousands of workers will also lost jobs and they needed help from the National government to survive the crisis.