The Manila City Government will give P100,000 to barangays that can remain free of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) from September 1 to October 31, Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso said.
The list released by the City Public Information Office on Wednesday showed that 170 out of 896 barangays may get the reward.
“We will give recognition to those barangay officials na talagang binabantayang maging ligtas ang kanilang bayan,” Domagoso said.
The mayor also assured the public that the mass testing operations offered by the local government will remain free as long as it can provide for it.
Domagoso said the city’s efforts are intended to boost consumer confidence and stimulate economic activity amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, the mayor said the city government would provide food assistance to families of public transportation drivers, public market vendors, and mall employees who would test positive for COVID-19 through the city’s mass swab testing operations.
Among these barangays was Barangay 306 in Quiapo, where houses and shops are close together. Despite this, the barangay has only recorded one COVID-19 case since the pandemic started, back in June.
“Meron ho kami campaign talaga para diyan. Dahil po sinasabi natin napakahirap po talaga pag magkaroon ng COVID. Hindi lang po ikaw natatamaan, kung hindi buong pamilya po,” Barangay Captain Joey Uy Jamisola said.
“Mahigpit na po kami. Talagang kailangan may mga thermal ang bawat tindahan tapos ‘yung mga pupunta ho rito, dapat po talaga naka-ano talaga, naka-mask,” Jamisola said.
Meanwhile, informal settlers and street-dwellers in the barangay said the community leadership regularly provided them with food, supplements, rubbing alcohol, and face masks. This was how they managed to avoid getting COVID-19, he said.
The barangay said that if they received the reward, they would use it to fund a feeding program.
“Sa amin naman kahit na walang i-offer po, patuloy po kami, talagang mahigpit po kami,” Jamisola said.
Barangay 471, which was almost included in the list of outstanding barangays, recorded three COVID-19 cases. They had all recovered.
“Sa ngayon, zero, pero nu’ng i-announce ni mayor ‘yun, eh, unluckily nagkaroon kami ng tatlo na nag-positive. Which is ngayon, magaling na sila,” Barangay Captain Osmundo Perez said.
While it was now unlikely they would receive the reward, Perez said they aimed to have zero cases until December.
“Hindi na po kami kasama doon sa P100,000 pero talagang pinipilit namin na hanggang December, mag zero ulit kami,” Perez said.
“Bantay kami kasi ang ginagawa po namin talagang ‘yung mga tanond ko, kagawad, lahat po sila, everyday, umiikot, nagtatanong kung merong nag positive diyan. Dahil talagang ang target natin ay mapapaba ang COVID na ‘yan,” he added.