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From providing insurance to frontliners, turning trash to rice, and curbing HIV/AIDS cases—local officials are working hard to better serve their communities.


     Manila City Mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso approved a budget of P7.5 million to provide all barangay officials with accident insurance. The Letter of Confirmation was signed by Mayor Domagoso, along with Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna-Pangan, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG)-Manila City Director Atty. Rolynne Javier, CESO V, and officials of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS). Over 45,000 barangay officials are set to receive insurance coverage, including barangay chairpersons, Sangguniang Barangay members, Sangguniang Kabataan chairpersons, barangay secretaries, barangay treasurers, Lupong Tagapamayapa members, and Barangay Tanod brigade members. “We let them man the frontlines so this is really needed. We’ve waited for this for a long time,” Domagoso said in the vernacular.

     With this insurance, each official is entitled to accidental death compensation worth P150,000, medical reimbursement of P5,000, and burial assistance worth P10,000



     In the Asia-Pacific region, the Philippines has the fastestgrowing HIV epidemic with a 174% increase compared to figures in 2010. But there’s a window of opportunity to put a stop to it before it spreads to more than 0.1% of the total population.

     Those 15 to 30 years old are most susceptible to transmission due to lack of sex education, stigma, and lack of awareness and access to testing.


     This is precisely the reason why the Sangguniang Kabataan of Brgy. 183, Villamor Airbase, Pasay City decided to launch free HIV/AIDS testing for its residents. “It’s our responsibility as youth leaders to create awareness and understanding in the community to end apathy and ignorance. Stigma always starts from lack of information, so that’s where we start by providing the correct information.


     It’s also important to educate using testimonials of PLHIV (or People Living With HIV) because they are living proof that life still goes on even if you acquire [HIV or AIDS],” SK Kagawad PJ Tronco said. As Committee on Health head, Tronco led the program, which was well-received by their community and resulted in 80 people getting tested. Participants were given selfcare kits, which included feminine wash, masculine wash, condoms, lubricants, vitamins, and a toothbrush set. Others were also given hygiene kits, which contained face masks and alcohol.


     Part of the program was also the webinar, “eYOUTHed,” led by Eryl Hagoriles of Love Yourself PH and Pepper Sanchez of I Stand with Pride. Brgy. 183’s SK plan includes conducting more activities to provide sex education and further HIV/AIDS and SOGIE awareness. They also plan on engaging nearby schools and establishments.



     Residents of Brgy. Mambugan, Antipolo City are given a chance to exchange their trash for rice through the latest program of the local Sangguniang Kabataan (SK), “May bigas ka, because?” According to SK Secretary Rianne Dominique Magsino, “The aim of this project is to help our garbage collectors to segregate the used face masks and plastic bottles.


     All facemasks will be turned over to the City Health Office of Antipolo which will sanitize the masks and dispose of them properly since they are hazardous wastes. In addition, the plastic bottles will be turned over to our Barangay Material Recovery Facility which will use these bottles to produce Eco Bricks.” To receive 2 kilograms of rice, residents may exchange either 50 pieces of used face masks, 10 pieces of 1L to 2L plastic bottles, 15 pieces of 300 ml plastic bottles, or 5 pieces of 1 gallon plastic bottles.


     As a safety measure, face masks should be disinfected and folded before they are secured inside a plastic bag. The strings of the masks should also be removed. Also, the plastic bottles must be completely empty and clean.

     A total of 3,000 youth residents participated in the projects and over 6,000 kilos of rice were exchanged for the trash. “Most of the youths who participated in the program are very thankful for this project because it helped with their basic needs, especially considering that many are struggling during this pandemic.

     Most of their parents lost their jobs and so this rice exchange program, while it’s a ‘small thing,’ was a really big help,” Magsino shared. The project was launched by the SK Council, spearheaded by SK Chairwoman Camille T. Alfante, with the support of Brgy. Mambugan Captain Marlon Zingapan and the barangay council.


     Hopefully, Magsino reveals, they can continue the project someday. But since they are lacking in supplies, they are looking for donors who could help them with their needs.

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