The Diocese of Kalookan in the Philippine capital launched on Sunday, August 1, a campaign to feed the poor during the lockdown that will start later in the week.
“Like I’ve said many times before, lockdowns for the poor can mean hunger, especially those who are daily wage earners, those who live a hand-to-mouth existence,” said Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Kalookan.
Authorities have announced that Metro Manila will be be placed under “enhanced community quarantine” starting August 6 to head off a deadly surge of the highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19.
Metro Manila spans 16 cities and is home to about 13 million people.
“In simple language, we we will back again to a general lockdown situation,” said Bishop David in a post on social media on Sunday.
“It is for this reason that we are launching today an appeal for you to join us in feeding the hungry in our urban poor communities,” he said.
The Diocese of Kalookan covers the three cities of Caloocan, Malabon, and Navotas where urban poor communities are expected to be most affected by the lockdown.
Bishop David noted that followers of live-streamed Masses have been asking for ways to make it easy for them to contribute to efforts to address the problem of hunger in the communities.
The National Shrine of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Quezon City also issued a similar appeal for donations to the public.
“Due to the recent typhoon and the incoming [lockdown] of the [national capital], we are running out of stocks of rice, canned goods, eggs, coffee, milk, face masks, bottled water, food containers and face shields at the Social Service of the Basilica,” read a post on the shrine’s Facebook page.
“Please help us continue our service to the poor and our brothers and sisters affected by this pandemic and lockdown,” it further read.
The Shrine said those who wish to help may drop their donations at the parish office, adding that “food cooked or uncooked and goods instead of cash” are preferred.
On Saturday, the Philippines recorded over 8,000 new COVID-19 cases, according to the Department of Health.
With 8,147 new cases, the country ended July 2021 with a total caseload of 1,588,965. Of the total cases, 60,887 or 3.8% are currently sick.
There are also 167 new deaths due to the coronavirus disease, bringing the death toll to 27,889. Meanwhile, recoveries are up by 9,117, pushing the total recovered cases to 1,500,189.
The DOH reported a positivity rate of 14.7% out of 54,857 tests in its bulletin. These positive cases are added to the tally of confirmed cases only after further validation.
As of Thursday, the Philippines has recorded 216 known cases of the Delta variant. However, there are concerns that the actual number may be far higher.
During the lockdown, only essential establishments and industries would be allowed to operate. Hospitals, groceries, courier, and delivery services would remain fully operational.
Hundreds of domestic and international flights to and from the Philippines were canceled following the announcement of stricter measures in Metro Manila.