PEF joins efforts to help urban poor affected by lockdown

According to the World Bank, the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic can push 49 million people into extreme poverty by 2020. (

In the Philippines, poor households struggle to find food on their table each day. What more if a pandemic is halting people from working? Such is the plight of the urban poor, most of which are working on informal jobs, when imposed quarantine prevented them from earning income.

To ease this situation, the Peace and Equity Foundation (PEF), together with non-government organizations (NGOs), provided a million worth of food and non-food items to an estimated 700 families in the National Capital Region. The relief packs consist of rice and canned goods, plus bottles of alcohols and face masks.

“PEF is focused on rural development, but it has a wide NGO network, some are working with the urban poor sector. Through them, we were able to extend support to vulnerable families affected by the pandemic,” PEF Senior Area Officer Bong Soto said.

PEF supported charity organizations, Simbahang Lingkod Bayan, Urban Poor Associates and Arnold Janssen Kalinga Center, in helping hundreds of homeless people and slum dwellers in Tondo and Sta. Cruz, Manila.

Quezon City residents also received relief packs through partner organizations, Disaster Preparedness and Response Interventions for Victim Empowerment, Partnership of Philippine Support Service Agencies, and Aksyon sa Kahandaan sa Kalamidad at Klima.

Bayanihan Musikahan

In the early stages of the COVID-19 break out, an online concert called Bayanihan Musikahan was launched to raise funds for affected families in NCR. The series that raised over Php 60 million in April featured live performances from country’s top artists such as Gary Valenciano, Leah Salonga, and Martin Nievera. The donations were used to buy rice and vegetables from rural farmers in Bulacan, Nueva Vizcaya and Camarines Sur, and distributed to approximately 16,000 families.  PEF, along with other with other civil society organizations, also contributed to this effort.