More than 1,000 families of the Great Love City in Ormoc received 20-kilo sacks of Taiwan rice on April 8. For many of the recipients, the rice aid came at just the right time.
Tzu Chi Foundation distributed sacks of 20-kilo Taiwan rice to 1,168 families of the Great Love City in Ormoc on April 8. Families with three members and less received a sack, while families with four and more received two.
The rice came at the most opportune time since supply is reportedly dwindling in the country, resulting to price hikes. A kilo now costs Php50. Since most families consume three kilos every day, the minimum wage earners spend 75% of their income on food.
In Rosalina Coste’s case, the struggle is twice as much. With a husband whose presence and financial support to the family is undependable, Coste has taken it upon herself to feed and provide her two children’s needs. She sells snacks at the Licuma Elementary School, a community connected to their neighborhood through a bridge. However, with the school currently on summer vacation, Coste’s livelihood was also put on hold. She finds other ways to earn by planting vegetables and root crops on her front yard but harvesting them will take a while and her children’s needs cannot wait.
“For the next two months, I won’t be able to earn at all but it’s a good thing that Tzu Chi came along with these sacks of rice. I am really thankful because it will tide us over until I can earn again,” Coste happily shared.
Mario dela Rosa also needs the 40-kilo rice he received. After all, the profit he makes from collecting and selling scraps is barely enough to feed his wife and their eight children. Despite this, dela Rosa loaded one of the two sacks of rice he received into his tricycle and drove all the way to Barangay Linao to deliver it to his parents-in-law.
In their sixties, dela Rosa’s in-laws are fending for themselves through fishing. “I just want to share Tzu Chi’s blessing with them so that they may also taste the rice from Taiwan. Anyway, I am still strong and can earn for my family,” he explained.
In the same way, recipient Jocel Malaya plans to donate to Tzu Chi the money that she was able to save from not having to buy rice for a month. “I want to show that we can also help and that we are not supposed to keep being the beneficiaries. We are also capable of extending love and share blessings to others,” she ended.