It was on April 12 when Mayor Edgardo Labella placed Sitio Zapatera of Barangay Luz in Cebu City under lock down after recording 3 positive cases of COVID19, which eventually increased to 135 cases. While on lock down, residents are obliged to stay at home and would basically depend on rations coming from the city government and barangay officials.
Initially, residents were concerned how they could survive the lock down since they had no means of acquiring supplies for their daily needs. Many, if not all, residents were worried and understandably so, since they already experienced early on the difficulties of a lock down situation: depleting food and water, medicines for the elderly, and supplements and other necessities.
Relief operations were quickly in place through the efforts of the city government, civic organizations, and other donors assuring the residents of support.
Speaking with Brgy. Captain Ronelio Sab-a and Councilor Tito Durano, Fr. Alex K. Cola, Jr., the director of Caritas Cebu Inc., was informed that food was a major concern among the residents of Sitio Zapatera.
Hence, Caritas Cebu Inc., in cooperation with the Commission on the Laity (headed by Mrs. Fe M. Barino), Caritas Relief and Rehabilitation Unit (headed by Fr. Charles Louis N. Jayme), and the SACRED FORCES immediately started to collect funds and donations for Sitio Zapatera.
The aforementioned organizations were originally tasked by Archbishop Jose S. Palma to do the planning and operations in the church’s effort to share in alleviating the effects of COVID19 in Cebu. They have been actively participating in the Archbishop Teofilo Camomot Buhat sa Kaluoy program which was launched at the onset of the COVID19 situation.
On April 24, the first batch of relief goods was delivered and endorsed to Brgy. Captain Sab-a and his officials to be distributed to the residents. Fr. Cola made it clear, however, that although Sitio Zapatera is part of Barangay Luz, the relief goods given are to be distributed only to the residents of Sitio Zapatera since that is the sole intention of the donors.
There were 1,040 packs of relief goods endorsed each containing 5 kilos of rice, 2 cans of sardines, 2 cans of beef loaf, 5 eggs, 2 sachets of milk, and 1 bottled water 6.6 liters.
In addition, on the day of the relief operation, families residing in Sitio Zapatera were also given cooked food, 852 mineral water (6.6L), 97 mineral water (5gallons), 12 boxes of Biscocho and sliced bread, and 104 boxes of vitamin C.
Archbishop Teofilo Camomot Buhat sa Kaluoy Team is planning to deliver the second batch of relief goods on May 1.
The whole team wishes to thank its donors who generously shared their blessings in this time of uncertainty. The church’s collective effort, along with other sectors, only proves that Christian faith is manifested even as the church endures pain and suffering, and fosters a strong bond among brothers and sisters in a diverse community centered in God.
(Photos courtesy of Caritas Cebu Inc. and Caritas Relief and Rehabilition Unit)