With the support and generosity of various organizations and individuals, we are pleased to have been able to deliver food relief to 628 families and 61 stranded students in Baguio City and Benguet province. At least 195 sets of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) were also distributed to two police checkpoint personnel, and health workers, volunteers and other frontline workers in seven (7) barangays in Baguio City. Vitamin C packs were distributed to 17 families and 63 packs of multivitamins were distributed to elderly, children, persons with medical conditions and other individuals that are at high risk of contracting viruses.
The food relief distributed by the Serve the People Brigade – Cordillera Disaster Response Network (STPB) consisted of rice, vegetables, canned goods, monggo beans, dried fish, alcohol and other hygiene and sanitation items. These were distributed from March 20 to April 17 in at least 30 barangays in Baguio City, six barangays in La Trinidad, Benguet, and Barangay Ucab in Itogon, Benguet.
Recipients of the food relief were mostly indigenous peoples who belong to the urban poor, people who are working in the informal sector (ambulant vendors, night market vendors, construction workers, other informal jobs), elderly, sick and recovering from sickness, persons with disability, solo parents, stranded students, and indigenous communities.
On April 14, food relief consisting of 100 sacks of rice, 55 kilograms of dried fish, and vegetables were brought to Barangay Ucab, Itogon, Benguet. Members of the communities decided to repack the goods to ensure that each family receives food relief. The food relief was then distributed to 220 families.
25 sets of relief packs consisting of rice, vegetables, canned goods, coffee, chocolate drinks, noodles, biscuits, cooking oil, salt, vitamin C tablets, sanitary pads, detergent powder, bar soaps, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush, and alcohol were distributed by the Cordilleran Youth Center and STPB to stranded students and out of school youth.
In partnership with the Philippine Nurses Association – Baguio Chapter and the Cordillera Nurses Brigade, the Health for the People Brigade was able to help produce hand-made face masks and face shields. It was able to pool volunteers for the making of Personal Protective Equipment and donations for PPE materials and PPE items.
From April 11-17, the Health for the People Brigade distributed PPE totaling 201 face shields, 113 face masks, 697 pairs of gloves. On April 11, face masks and face shields produced by the Health for the People Brigade and its partners were donated to the Baguio General Hospital HIV and AIDS Core Team (BGH HACT). On April 15, PPE sets consisting of 1 face shield, 2 face masks, 3 gloves, and multivitamins were given to barangay front liners in selected vulnerable communities in Baguio City. On April 17, PPE sets consisting of 1 non-fog face shield and 1 nitrile glovers were handed to police checkpoint personnel in Hillside, and to barangay workers in Camp 7, Pinget, and Pacdal which were locked down after the reported positive cases in the areas.
The Serve the People Brigade and the Health for the People Brigade distributed a total of 3,780 capsules/tablets of vitamins for adults and several bottles of vitamins for children.
There is heightened political attacks to some members of the STPB and Health for the People Brigade through social media – Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) and Anakbayan-Cordillera and their leaders and members. These organizations and individuals have been very vocal in providing critique and recommendations on the government’s response to the current health and socio-economic crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly the call for medical solutions and sufficient economic aid instead of military approach to the crisis.
Especially at Facebook nowadays, these organizations and their leaders and members, like CPA Chairperson Windel Bolinget, and Christian Dave Ruiz and Hector Sucte of Anakbayan-Cordillera, are being politically vilified as communist fronts, members of the New People’s Army, terrorists and creating troubles by elements and supporters of the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines, fake accounts and trolls. Threats and curses were also rampant.
The attempts to discredit the relief initiatives of the STPB and Health for the People Brigade members are in vain because the people are witnessing our efforts in distributing much-needed food packs and PPEs.
Despite the lockdown, we are able to continue to produce PPE and pack and deliver relief goods to people in need. We work on a minimal number of volunteers each day. We also try to minimize packing by delivering or distributing the whole rice sacks (25 kilograms).
Continuing Appeal for Support
Today is the 36th day of the Luzon lockdown. Many people are clamoring for food relief and economic aid while frontline workers are demanding for sufficient PPE supplies. The situation is worse for the poor and marginalized people who are running out of food and are relying on food relief to survive.
Due to the never-ending requests especially for food relief, we continue to appeal for donations and support in order to respond to the people’s needs. STPB and Health for the People Brigade prioritize the poorest of the poor and those who are most in need.
Thank you very much!
SERVE THE PEOPLE BRIGADE - CORDILLERA DISASTER RESPONSE NETWORK
HEALTH FOR THE PEOPLE BRIGADE