COVID-19 has highlighted the Filipino people’s age-old tradition of Bayanihan, where the community comes together to aid those in need. Sadly though, there have been instances where this spirit of volunteerism is being abused.
From those doing the rounds of food drives with no regard to fellows who have yet to receive theirs, to those who have the temerity to complain about what they have received.
Laliebeth Petancio, a community volunteer in Abu Dhabi, who has been spearheading a “Tawid-COVID” food drive in the capital city, said there have been those engaged in what she called, “hakot-ayuda.”
“Hihingi ng relief goods sa iba’t-ibang groups at individuals sa isang araw. Lahat sabay-sabay tatanggapin nila at proud pang mag-post ng saku-sakong bigas na na-ipon nila from different sources,” bemoaned Petancio.
She said other qualified recipients have not been able to receive their relief package because of this deplorable practice by unscrupulous individuals.
“We wanted to avoid this kaya meron kaming collaborations ng master-listing namin every week by posting pre-listed beneficiaries on the group page. We decline any name-entry na nakatanggap na or existing na in another list.
“We then decide sinong group ang magbibigay,” Petancio told GMA News.
But while there are hoarders, she said there are also those in the list who ask them to give their ration to those more in need. “Kapuri-puri naman sila. Sana all,” Petancio said.
But not all, she lamented, citing instances where they receive complaints from recipients not satisfied with what have been provided for them. One such incidents was from a person who asked for lunch ration and complained that the food was not good at all.
“At 7:08 am, tumawag dahil nagtatanong kung sana mabigyan sya ng lunch kasi wala na daw sya makain. I gave her the contact number of a restaurant giving free meal. At 4:07pm on same day, eto ang message nya:
“‘Kabayan, ang (food) nyo walang sahog po, hindi malunok. Hindi naman kami ganito kahirap para paka-inin ng walang sahog. Please lagyan naman sana ng konting sahog.’”
Petancio said their food drive comes from donations.
“Mga sariling bulsa po galing ang mga pinamimigay namin— kadalasan nagiging role ko ay mag-grocery, mag-packing at distribute na din, she said.
Petancio said the Tawid COVID group has distributed over 3,000 food packs.