The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Bacolod-Negros Occidental Chapter extended food assistance to 100 persons with disabilities (PWDs) at the Bacolod City Government Center lobby recently.
The distribution of the food packs was part of a simultaneous nationwide program of the Red Cross, initiated by PRC chief executive officer and chairman, Senator Richard Gordon, PRC secretary general Elizabeth Zavalla, chapter administrators, and department heads, a press release from the city said.
In Bacolod, it was led by local chapter chairman, Carlos Ganihong, and the members of the Board of Directors, that include City Administrator Em Ang, Joel Chua, Arthur Yap, and chapter administrator Rita Benita Mirasol.
The selected PWD beneficiaries were those who currently have no sources of income.
Ang also led the distribution of the Member Accidental Assistant Benefit (MAAB) IDs. MAAB is an insurance plan for accidental body injuries, the press release said.
“The 100 PWD beneficiaries are those who were hit doubly hard by the Covid-19 pandemic due to movement restrictions and the resulting economic downturn,” Ang said.
Mirasol said the distribution was one way to lift the spirits of the PWDs.
“The Red Cross sees that one of the sectors most affected by the pandemic is the PWDs because they are the ones we consider the most vulnerable,” Mirasol said.
“Some of them cannot continue working, some are having difficulties looking for livelihood,” she added.
The PWDs were encouraged to secure Red Cross membership to continually receive benefits from the PRC, like first-aid training.
“Their family members will also know how to use assistive devices, like wheelchairs and crutches,” Mirasol said.
PWD Federation president Melvin Caspe thanked the Red Cross and the Department of Social Services Development. This is the first food assistance program for PWDs initiated by the PRC, the press release added.*