CRS supports PWDs, informal workers as lockdown continues
CRS Philippines has partnered with Tahanang Walang Hagdanan, Inc. to provide people with disabilities in a TWHI residential facility in Cainta, Rizal with a one-month supply of food and hygiene items that the residents themselves selected. COURTESY OF TWHI
By CBCP News
April 15, 2020
As church groups joined various efforts in distributing aid, a Catholic charity focused its attention to helping people with disabilities and informal workers.
Catholic Relief Services is supporting PWDs and workers in the informal economy who are struggling because of the Covid-19 lockdown with over P1.2 million of initial assistance.
Matthew McGarry, CRS sub-regional country representative, said that beyond the dangers of the disease itself is the current situation for poor families to meet their basic needs.
“We are focusing our efforts on assisting the most vulnerable populations, who bear the brunt of the lockdown and are at the greatest risk from the spread of Covid-19,” McGarry said.
CRS, the U.S. bishops’ overseas relief and development agency, has programs across Asia. They have a sub-regional office in Manila.
The agency has partnered with Tahanang Walang Hagdanan, Inc. (TWHI) to help at least 116 people with disabilities in a TWHI residential facility in Cainta, Rizal.
The assistance include a one-month supply of food and hygiene items that the residents themselves selected during remote consultations with CRS and TWHI.
Melo Bueza, TWHI’s social worker, said people with disabilities are suffering the brunt of the coronavirus outbreak.
“Since most of us are on a ‘no work, no pay’ basis, it has been hard to get the supplies we and our families need,” Bueza said.
In TWHI, people with disabilities are provided with opportunities to work in metalcraft, woodcraft, sewing and packaging to earn money for themselves and their families.
Ramon Rey Emmanuel Apelado, TWHI’s administrative manager, said the organization, too, faces difficulties in supporting all the people it serves.
“These food baskets and hygiene kits are essential to ensure we get proper nutrition and stay healthy,” he said.
CRS Philippines is also working with Caritas Pasig in providing some 150 informal workers with at least P5,000 cash grants that they can use to buy food and other basic necessities.
Cash grant beneficiaries include tricycle and jeepney drivers, sidewalk vendors, construction workers and those who have lost their source of income but are excluded in the government’s Pantawid Pamilya cash assistance program.
The CRS also said that plans are underway to expand its Covid-19 relief and recovery program across the Philippines.