Veggies and Rice For The Community: A Collaboration Between HAPI and LGBT Pilipinas
Written by Dweng Bulaclac
April 26, 2020
Las Piñas City, Philippines
Through a simple conversation over social media about the plight of local farmers being unable to sell their goods to the usual drop zone markets due to the in-effect enhanced community quarantine in the National Capital Region and in other regions such as CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) and Central Luzon (Aurora, Bataan, Zambales, Pampanga, Tarlac, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija), two organitions, namely the Humanist Alliance Philippines International (HAPI) and LGBT Pilipinas, struck a deal to purchase vegetables and rice to help the poor farmers with the intention of distributing these goods to members of the local communities most affected economically by the home lockdowns.
On the 24th of April, 2020, the deal was set in stone and fresh produce was purchased both in the provinces of Nueva Vizcaya and Nueva Ecija. In Nueva Vizcaya, sacks of carrots, broccoli, cabbages, squash, and tomatoes were bought directly from the local farmers selling their goods to passers by., While in Nueva Ecija, individually-packed rice was bought directly from a local rice mill with packaging made for the intention of relief distribution.
After being on the road for eight hours, Ms. Dindi Tan of the Department of Agrarian Reform (Director 1 of the Provincial Agrarian Reform Program), also the Secretary-General of LGBT Pilipinas, dropped the produce and rice and had dinner with the staff at the HAPI National Headquarters in Las Piñas City.
The vegetables from Nueva Vizcaya and the individually-packed rice from Nueva Ecija were then repacked the next day ready for distribution to benefit sixty five (65) indigent families including LGBTQ+ couples and individuals from Barangay Talon Dos in Las Piñas City. A lot of the families and individuals affected by the lockdown measures would have a no work-no pay policy with their employers so people could just imagine how many of them tried to cope while enduring this enhanced community quarantine brought about by this global COVID-19 pandemic crisis.
This endeavor is a collaborative partnership of the Humanist Alliance Philippines, International and LGBT Pilipinas through the generous donation of HAPI’s Founder, Ms Marissa Torres Langseth aka Ms M and the mobilization efforts of our volunteers both from HAPI and LGBT Pilipinas.
Politics aside, LGBT Pilipinas has long been an active affiliate of HAPI in outreach programs and advocacy projects catering to the secular LGBTQ+ community.