Frontliners, groups receive Quezon City Gawad Parangal
Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte (third from left) and Vice Mayor Gian Sotto (fourth from left) confer this year’s Gawad Parangal on community heroes on the frontlines of the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic in a ceremony held on Oct. 31.
STAR/ File

Frontliners, groups receive Quezon City Gawad Parangal

Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) - November 8, 2020 - 12:00am

QUEZON CITY, Philippines — Community heroes on the frontlines of the battle against the coronavirus pandemic were named recipients of the annual Manuel L. Quezon Gawad Parangal conferred by the Quezon City government.

Mayor Joy Belmonte said the individual and organization awardees were selected on the basis of their active involvement in helping the city government carry out assistance of any form to the community during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We share the success of our COVID-19 response to those who have been helping us in providing support and assistance to our residents. These awardees have been exemplary as they stood out among their peers to become heroes of their communities,” she said.

“What matters to the heroes we are honoring today is that every life is worth saving. Some of them continue to risk their lives everyday in their desire to help their communities,” Belmonte added.

Among those who were recognized were doctors Susan Jane Celo and Hilario John Mangoba, who both died of COVID-19.

Celo – a medical officer at the Quezon City Health Department (QCHD) – spearheaded the city’s efforts in setting up community-based testing sites and active monitoring and follow-up of patients.

Mangoba, meanwhile, was a pediatrician who served the poorest of the poor patients in at least five hospitals in the city. He was also the founder of the East Avenue Medical Center Sikap Bata Foundation.

The city government also conferred the award on QCHD chief Esperanza Anita Arias, who formulated various guidelines in COVID-19 response in the city, including for testing and barangay contact tracing.

She also led the direct coordination with government and non-government organizations for additional resources for the city.

Other individual awardees are Jay Angelo Pineda, chieftain of technology start-up Whiz Philippines Innovations, and Lamberto Nolasco, president of Kingspoint Homeowners Association Inc.

Pineda initiated an online challenge called #SalamatFrontliners to give back to the country’s frontliners, while Nolasco encouraged poor and jobless residents to plant vegetables in vacant lots in their subdivision.

Nolasco also initiated the distribution of food packs to nearby subdivisions; disinfection of churches, roads and open spaces; and provision of assistance to tricycle drivers and senior citizens.

Five organizations were also on the roster of Gawad Parangal awardees this year.

The Bantay Bayan Foundation Inc. Culiat Chapter was recognized for its roving operations and neighborhood-watch activities to assist barangays in implementing curfew hours, as well as in the distribution of financial assistance and food packs during the lockdown period.

The Triskelion Riders of Quezon City distributed grocery items, initiated a bloodletting program and extended assistance to jeepney drivers affected by the pandemic.

The Kingspoint Homeowners Association was recognized for assisting senior citizens in the 25 neighborhoods of their community in availing themselves of the city government’s financial assistance. They also extended food packs to 150 poor families.

For its part, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines-Quezon City chapter put up a legal aid clinic for legal advice and legal representation in courts to cater to indigent litigants of the city.

They also established a hotline for anti-discrimination for frontliners in partnership with the Philippine National Police (PNP), as well as donated various items such as thermal scanners, disinfectants, facemasks, gloves and vitamins to hospitals and institutions.

Meanwhile, the Metro Manila Persons with Disability Vendors Association Inc. received the Gawad Parangal for spearheading the “Relentless for Persons with Disability Relief Project” to support 500 persons with disabilities in the city during the lockdown.

The city also conferred a special award on Miss Universe Philippines second runner-up Michele Gumabao for starting the Your200Pesos initiative under the Hunger No More Foundation as a direct response to the pandemic.

More than 6,000 families received the Your200Pesos eco pack of basic necessities while another 5,000 frontliners received meal packs through her partnership with various initiatives and organizations such as Rektang Bayanihan program of PNP, FILHINDI and the PLDT-Smart Foundation.

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