As of September 2020, Caritas Manila along with Project Ugnayan has distributed worth P1.7 billion assistance to those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Project Ugnayan is a fundraising initiative led by the country’s leading corporations and business families in cooperation with the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF). It is headed by Ayala Corporation President and COO Fernando Zobel de Ayala. Project Ugnayan tapped the vast network of parishes and volunteers under Caritas Manila to distribute gift vouchers that can be redeemed in nearby groceries to challenged communities in Metro Manila and nearby areas.
As of September 2020, over P1.37 billion worth of gift certificates has been given out to 1.37 million poor households in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite, and Laguna. This benefitted 1,909,153 families or 9,611,835 individuals.
Caritas Manila also gave out an additional P318 million worth of food and non-food items to those falling under the classifications of Poorest Families, Vulnerable Groups, Service Frontliners, Poor Dioceses, and Individuals in Crisis.
In just 3 days after the imposition of the lockdown, Caritas Manila launched its Contra COVID program that involved the immediate distribution of 143,624 Manna Food Bags, 16,893 Ligtas COVID Kits, assorted food, and non-food items as well as gift vouchers in Metro Manila and surrounding dioceses.
According to Caritas Manila Executive Director Anton CT Pascual, “During this pandemic, we endeavor to provide immediate charity aid to the poor and marginalized. COVID-19 is not only a health crisis but more so a grave economic concern that affects almost everyone.”
Fr. Pascual cites the sentiment of a vendor he talked to who said “Mas takot po kaming magutom ang pamilya naming ngayong quarantine.”
Caritas Manila responds to disasters through its Damayan program. For COVID-19, Damayan coordinated with the Institute of Servant Leadership and Stewardship (ISLAS) to mobilize volunteers for relief distribution and groundwork. At present, Caritas Manila continues to address rising hunger and poverty and is now giving assistance to displaced public utility drivers.
To support Caritas Manila, you can donate to Account Name: Caritas Manila, Inc. to the following peso savings accounts: BDO 000-5600-45905; BPI 3063-5357-01; and Metrobank 175-3-17506954-3. For dollar deposits, BPI savings account 3064-0033-55 or USHARE Unionbank savings account 3064-0033. Donations are also accepted via Paypal and all Cebuana Lhuillier branches.