COVID-19 Crisis: Residents of locked community in Parañaque City complain about limited essentials

In recent times, due to a report that there were individuals living in Annex 35 (a community of about one thousand houses within Better Living Subdivision) had contracted COVID-19, the City Government of Parañaque had the said community locked-down supposedly for fourteen days to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

This past weekend, GMA Network reported that Annex 35 residents have been complaining about the effects of the granular lockdown.To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the GMA Network news report. Some parts in boldface…

Residents of a portion of the Better Living Subdivision in Parañaque City have been complaining after they were reportedly placed under a granular lockdown without prior notice, leaving them isolated for 10 days.

According to residents of Annex 35 of the subdivision, they were only made aware of the initial four-day granular lockdown at 8 p.m. on Tuesday. The lockdown was implemented four hours later, and was then extended to 10 days.

“8 p.m. halos sarado na ang establishments. ‘Di ba meron po tayong allowed na time for Metro Manila na open ang ganitong establishment, so ‘di lahat nakapuno ng enough food and water supply,” a resident of the area said in a report on GMA’s “24 Oras Weekend” on Sunday.

(At 8 p.m. almost all establishments were already closed. Don’t we have an allowed time for establishments in Metro Manila to open? Not all residents were able to store enough food and water.)

“Hindi lahat ay okay. Kasi meron kaming community page sa Facebook, ang daming hinaing like water supply, ‘yung food supply namin not enough for 10 days,” the resident added.

(Not all are okay. We have a community page on Facebook and there are a lot of appeals for water supply, our food supply was not enough for 10 days.)

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) released food packs, but the residents said this is not enough. The homeowners’ association could not intervene as the granular lockdown was implemented by the local government.

The resident said that there were food packs that were supposed to have been distributed among the residents, but these were spoiled due to the lack of manpower to deliver the goods.

“Sa sobrang dami ng houses dito, kulang sila to deliver ‘yung mga food na naka-ano sa gate namin. ‘Yung iba nasisira na ‘yung food kasi kulang ‘yung tao, isang patrol car lang ang umiikot,” the resident said.

(With the number of houses here, only a few people are distributing the food stored at the gate. Some get spoiled because of the lack of manpower, only one patrol car was making the rounds.)

The resident acknowledged that the lockdowns are for health reasons, but the local government should have given residents ample time to store goods for the lockdown.

“Alam ko po na kailangan mag-ingat, they are after doon sa aming health na hindi kumalat ‘yung virus. Pero po sana binigyan nilang konsiderasyon, binigyan nila yung mga tao at least one day na makapag-plan, one whole day. Hindi ‘yung 8 pm tapos 12 midnight sarado na,” the resident said.

(I know we need to be careful, they are preventing the virus from spreading, but they should have given consideration. They should have given residents at least one day to plan, one whole day. Not announce at 8 p.m. and then close the barriers at midnight.)

GMA News has reached out to the local government of Parañaque, but calls were left unanswered.

And now here is a related news video also from GMA Network. Watch it closely…

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction about this latest development in Parañaque City? Are you able to relate with the complaints raised by the people living in the locked Annex 35 community? Do you believe that the City Government of Parañaque and the local DSWD were lacking (if not unprepared) with regards to manpower and efforts to provide sufficient supplies to the Annex 35 residents? What do you think will help prevent food from getting spoiled? Do all of these somehow impact your personal beliefs about the power of the local government unit (LGU) over residential communities that already have their own community management?

If you are a resident of Annex 35 reading this, what else should the City Government and DSWD do to make your lives easier apart from supplying your essential needs? Are you searching for charitable organizations out there to provide you assistance?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.


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