Filipino Canadians reach out to people in need, as COVID-19 cases rise

CANADA — As efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 continue, the fight to protect public health has also left a number of people in a tight spot.

This is why a Filipino group in Calgary started sending “Lingap” packages or care packages over the weekend to immediately help those in need in this time of COVID-19 uncertainty.

“We heard about members of the community that are vulnerable, mga seniors natin napakaraming seniors sa commuity..isolation medyo scary for them (cut) meron din dito contract workers na wala ng trabaho,” said Vangie Caoile.

“We heard about members of the community that are vulnerable, seniors that are scared and in isolation. We also have contract workers here that don’t have work.”

Sherwin Antonio is one of the volunteers.

He delivered about 10 packages before heading to work, and shared why we need to help fellow Filipinos even during this time of social distancing.

“I kept 6 feet away, got to talk for a few mins, asked their story… just came back from the Phils most of them did, quarantining, and a couple got laid off from their jobs and were here on working visas… they were very grateful, made me feel nice to see their reaction at the door. They were really happy to have some extra food.”

Both federal and provincial governments have announced financial packages to help Canadians deal with the economic impact of COVID-19.

From mortgage deferment, additional child tax benefits, GST credits for low-income families — even an easier way to access employment insurance for those who find themselves unemployed during this time.

But aid doesn’t come immediately even as government fast tracks the process to make this available.

“It will take some time before they get those benefits. But it’s good that the government has not forgotten those affected, both federal and provincial.”

For now, the group hopes to continue giving out Lingap packages with help from others in the community.

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