The Manila City government has begun distributing the fourth tranche of food box assistance under the COVID-19 Food Security Program (FSP) for about 700,000 families living in the nation’s capital.

Distribution of the fourth tranche of food assistance began on Saturday, May 8.

As of 5:00 pm on Sunday, May 9, about 139,000 food boxes have already been distributed to 122 barangays in District 1.

The distribution was made through the joint effort of the Department of Public Services, Department of Engineering and Public Works, and the Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau.

Mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso said the food assistance is the local government’s response to ease the public’s economic burden amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Ito ay iyong pinasa naming batas, sa tulong ni Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna at mga konsehal nung Disyembre, upang ibsan ang inyong mga tustusin buwan-buwan at para lumaki naman ang inyong savings dahil sa epekto ng inflation or hirap ng buhay ng tao — nagmamahal ang produkto, hindi naman tumataas ang sweldo,” Domagoso said.

About P3 billion have already been allocated for the implementation of the program wherein three kilos of rice, 16 pieces of canned goods and eight sachets of coffee will be packaged and distributed to Manila residents.

The Mayor said the local government is prioritizing “the lives of the public over road works,” citing reports that the COVID-19 pandemic will greatly affect the country’s economy.

“Ang naging polisiya natin kung saan natin diniretso yung kakayanan ng gobyerno ay pagbibigay ng importansya sa pagkain ng bawat pamilyang Manileño. Tao muna bago kalsada. Ayaw ko pong may magutom sa Maynila, kakain tayo,” Domagoso said.

The COVID-19 FSP initiative, which began in February and will continue until July this year, is on top of other assistance made by the local government for its constituents since the start of the pandemic.