Manila City Mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso on Wednesday, March 10 said he has ordered local government personnel to distribute food boxes to residents of barangays that will be placed under lockdown this week.

The Mayor’s directive was made under the city government’s COVID-19 Food Security Program (FSP), which assures food supply for more than 700,000 families affected by the pandemic.

Domagoso said food boxes under the COVID-19 FSP will be distributed to 1,019 families in Barangay 351; 1,109 families in Barangay 699; and 169 families in Barangay 725.

Each food box contains three kilos of rice, 16 pieces of canned goods, and eight sachets of coffee.

“So many were saying, ‘Hindi nga kami mamamatay sa COVID, pero mamamatay naman kami sa gutom.’ Pipilitin natin sa lungsod na walang pamilyang magugutom. Sa Maynila, kakain tayo,” Domagoso said.

The COVID-19 FSP, the Mayor said, is a crucial part of the city’s COVID-19 response, saying that “many people are losing their jobs and businesses are shutting down, and hunger will be a huge impact on our city’s residents.”

To recall, Mayor Domagoso placed two barangays and two hotels under a four-day lockdown on Tuesday, March 9, due to the continuous increase of COVID-19 cases in their communities.

Barangay 351 logged 12 active cases, while Barangay 725 recorded 14 active cases.

Likewise, two hotels in Barangay 699 will also be placed under lockdown—the Malate Bayview Mansion which has 14 active cases, and Hop Inn Hotel which has three active cases.

The Manila Health Department (MHD) recommended to declare the barangays and the hotels as “critical zones” where enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) guidelines will be observed.

“The city will never think twice about [imposing a] lockdown on districts or [more] areas kung kailangan. Kaya nga hinihikayat nga natin yung ating barangay officials na ‘wag na ‘wag bibitaw sa labang ito,” Mayor Domagoso said.

“The increase in cases is alarming. It needs to be addressed and controlled. We don’t want to go back to uncertainty. That’s why the city is addressing it conservatively,” the Mayor said.