Muslim group helps pack relief goods for Laoag residents

HELPING HAND. Muslim women who are members of Ilocos Norte United Muslim Association volunteer help repack goods intended for locked down Ilocano families in Laoag City. The City Social Welfare and Development Office on Wednesday (Aug. 11, 2021) started to distribute the food packs to indigent families who were affected by the localized enhanced community quarantine. (Photo courtesy of the City Government of Laoag)

LAOAG CITY – Members of the Ilocos Norte United Muslim Association (INUMA) who are living in a close-knit compound in Barangay 1 here have volunteered in the repacking of hundreds of relief goods to be distributed to Ilocano families affected by the localized enhanced community quarantine lockdown.

“The INUMA residents voluntarily joined together as it is natural for Muslims to show brotherhood. This is our simple way of expressing support to our Ilokano brothers in times of storms and trials,” said Ismael Ampaso Macasasa Ali, president of the INUMA and a business owner at the Robinsons Place Ilocos.

On Wednesday, the City Social Welfare and Development Office led by City social welfare officer Perlita Cabello started the distribution of food packs to the affected families covering 30 out of the 80 barangays in the city.

“The barangays that have the most number of Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) cases will be the first ones to receive the relief goods, to be followed by the other barangays in the succeeding days,” said City Mayor Michael M. Keon as he expressed deep appreciation to the officials and members of INUMA for their spirit of volunteerism to speed up the repacking of relief goods.

The INUMA has maintained strong cooperation with the city and provincial governments, with various charity programs and partnerships particularly in terms of uplifting education, health and environment, as well as peace and order, among others.

Just recently, the Muslim community here launched its own communal farm where the provincial government provided them seeds and farm equipment, including technical support to sustain their agricultural livelihood.

Keon said everything is possible to achieve if everyone is united. According to the CSWDO, the beneficiaries in the initial rollout of relief goods are indigent families who belong to the expanded Listahanan and Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) as they are in need of immediate assistance due to the current implementation of localized enhanced community quarantine.

Since August 1, the city has been under the strictest form of quarantine in the country for two weeks or until August 15 due to spike of Covid-19 cases.

As of Aug. 10, the City Health Office has logged 1,156 active cases out of the total 3,438 cases, 2,229 recoveries, and 53 deaths.

Currently, village checkpoints are installed in strategic locations with men in uniform to regulate the movement of people going in and out of the city.

Personnel of the Philippine National Police have also intensified the apprehension of violators of quarantine protocols such as non-wearing of face masks as well as violating curfew hours from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m.

Meanwhile, the city’s public and private hospital facilities are likewise full of patients with respiratory diseases, prompting some emergency patients to take chances outside emergency rooms, waiting for their turn to be examined.

The city government urged the public to stay home and go out only to buy food, medicines and other necessities. (PNA)

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