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Condoms are included in food packs: mayor

Mayor Sara Duterte has reminded couples to practice responsible parenthood as the city government is placing the city under the state of enhanced community quarantine as part of fighting the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) starting Saturday evening.

This developed as Duterte said that about 200,000 food packs intended to be distributed for the relief goods operations of the city government will contain rice from the National Food Authority.

She said this is because one of the suppliers for the relief good operations in the city is currently having the difficulty of acquiring a bulk supply of the regular rice being used for the distribution, prompting the city government to source rice from NFA.

“To the beneficiaries who will be receiving (NFA rice), we would want to apologize and ask for your patience on this, because this is the only option for us to fast track the distribution. Because if we are going to wait for their shipment, it will take another week again,” she said.

She added that with the NFA rice on a cheaper price, there really is a difference in the quality as compared to the usual special class of rice being used on the relief goods operation.

Duterte however, assured that the rest of the suppliers are using the special class of rice for the food packs. The city mayor previously said there are four suppliers tapped by the city government for the relief goods operations.

“Only this (one supplier) has the NFA rice because there is a delay and they do not have their usual rice supply to be repacked,” she said, adding that the city government cannot distribute food packs without rice on it as it is one of the most needed basic commodities.

The city government is targeting more than 350,000 grocery food packs to be distributed to the families in the different barangays of the city on its first round of operation.

Mayor Duterte said out of the 182 barangays, there are already 58 barangays who received the food packs, and the still on the process of distribution. “The distribution will still continue until we complete the 350,000 and then we will continue to the next round of distribution,” she said.

In explaining the inclusion of condoms in the food packs, the mayor said that although the people will have much time staying at home, this is not an excuse for couples to forget the importance of family planning as she encouraged them to avoid unplanned pregnancies.

She said the city government has included condoms inside the food packs being distributed to those heavily affected that couples can use. “Do not be surprised if we include condoms in our food packs. This is to avoid irresponsible and unplanned pregnancies,” she said

She also said that the stock condoms were from the Department of Health for the city government’s Pagbabago Campaign.

“The campaign has been suspended, so we included the condoms in the relief goods instead,” the mayor said.

The City Information Office said the Pagababago Campaign has targeted women and children in the barangays with the objective of inculcating the value of education among children and the importance of planned parenthood among women and their partners.

Duterte said responsible parenthood, including family planning, continues to be part of the campaign of the city government amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

She also asked those who don’t want condoms to give them to those who might need it. (with Warren Elijah E. Valdez)

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