Gensan public school teachers pool personal funds for provision of relief packs


By: Gandhi Kinjiyo

GENERAL SANTOS CITY – Some twenty public school teachers in Barangay Buayan, this city have shared their own resources  to provide food packs to poor families in the village who were displaced by the implementation of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ)   amid threats posed by the corona virus disease  (Covid-19).

Teachers of Dalid Elementary School in Barangay Buayan, this city had shelled out their personal funds to buy relief goods for at least 20 poor families of their pupils who were adversely affected by the community quarantine. 

“We, teachers, have profile of our learners, thus we know who are the poorest of the poor among them,” said Janet Saban, a mathematics teacher of Datu Acad Dalid Elementary School (DADES).

From their own pockets, Saban and her co-teachers raised funds to procure rice, canned goods, noodles, egg, dried fish, milk, and soap to ease the burden of parents who can no longer work because of the ECQ.

She said their outreach initiative was prompted by their concern to parents who had already lived through poverty even before the Covid-19-inspired community quarantine.

Mayor Ronnel Rivera issued Executive Order No. 24 series of 2020 restricting the movement of local residents starting midnight of April 4  as part of the ECQ measures which segregated the city’s 26 barangays into 12 clusters.

The executive order prohibits residents, except hospital staff and other essential workers, to leave their clusters except for medical reasons, bank transactions and other emergencies.

“It is really a big help for us and my children,” Gladys Pio, a solo parent with four children, said in local vernacular. She thanked and wished the teachers of more blessings from the Almighty.

Janessa Amal, a wife of a tricycle driver with two children, was so delighted with the food pack and P200 received from DADES teachers, saying, “Thank you, Ma’am, makapalit pa gyud mi isda ani (We shall be able to buy fish now).”

Jack Sambog, a polio victim and pedicab driver, was nearly in tears upon receiving the relief assistance. “Salamat kaayo, Ma’am, timing gyud ning tabang nyo sa kalisod sa kahimtang ron (Thanks a lot, Ma├ím, your help just arrive in time that we are in this difficult situation),” he said.

The DADES teachers were able to help identified families belonging to the poverty line. They consider reaching out their beneficiaries again should the ECQ be extended.

Under the leadership of its school principal, Lou Bernandino, DADES was recognized as the best implementer of school-based feeding program in Region 12 in school year 2017-2018. The school was also cited for its successful implementation of Gulayan sa Paaralan project.

The barangay council of Buayan had distributed food packs consist of five-kilorice and few canned goods to its households for two times.

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