Gov’t aid comes in 3 ways for this senior woman
Florenda Lagrada, 63, a farm caretaker for most of her life in the upland village of Cabuan in Guinsiliban town in the island-province of Camiguin, is hardly affected by the coronavirus pandemic that is gripping the nation and the world.
But even if her village is far away from where the pandemic rages, Lagrada said her routine has to change.
A sought-after “manghihilot” (local healer) who traipsed all over several towns on the island to see her “clients,” Lagrada now finds her movement restricted by the quarantine in her province, which may be away from Luzon but which nevertheless had a coronavirus case in the capital town of Mambajao.
Lagrada’s income has been reduced but she said she was getting by with government aid.
Looking after the four young children of her two daughters, who are working as housekeepers in Butuan City, Lagrada gets to receive every other month a cash dole out of P2,200 from the government’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), as carried out by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
On April 2, the barangay chair of Cabuan gave her a quarantine pass which allowed her to visit the town proper to collect the money from the local DSWD office.
With that money, Lagrada decided to buy a sack of rice.
“Rice is security for us. I need to have enough of it to make sure I can feed my grandchildren while we cannot move around,” she said in Cebuano.
That was not the only assistance Lagrada expected from the government. She and her husband Romeo, 65, are entitled as senior citizens to P1,500 each every quarter.
But the DSWD in Guinsiliban told her the release of that money had to wait until after the quarantine in her province is lifted on April 15, to avoid people massing in one area.
While in Guinsiliban on Thursday, the DSWD staff handling the cash aid distribution made a copy of her senior citizen’s identification card so she could be listed as a recipient of the P5,000 assistance due to each poor family outside Metro Manila.
The aid is part of the government’s P200-billion social amelioration program for poor families while the main northern island of Luzon is on lockdown, with other areas having followed suit, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Lagrada said she was told that she was going to receive the cash aid either on Monday or Tuesday next week. All she had to do was wait for the social workers scheduled to go house-to-house in her village to deliver the cash aid.
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