The Philippine Navy serves not only as a purveyor of peace and order but also promulgates charity through various humanitarian works.
Bayanihan, for one, is at the heart of its service.
It is basically a Filipino custom, derived from the word bayan for nation, town or community. The word — itself — literally means “being in a bayan” which refers to “working together as a community to achieve a common goal.” In the old days, the word bayanihan meant that people would come together to move bamboo houses of their neighbors in the countryside. Today, the term has evolved and is used to refer to local humanitarian efforts.
Recently — amid this raging pandemic — the Philippine Navy through various units under Naval Forces Reserve-National Capital Region (NFR-NCR) and Naval Reserve Center-NCR has enlivened the “bayanihan spirit” through its various relief efforts that aim to alleviate the local impact brought by the global catastrophe.
In partnership with Tanging Yaman Foundation Inc. and Ateneo de Manila University, platoons of eager sailors were able to distribute about 268,000 relief packs to thousands of communities in Metro Manila and nearby provinces since the onset of the pandemic last year.
“The Philippine Navy is basically here to extend a helping hand to the various institutions involved in these relief efforts. With about 30 military personnel per day, we get to help the people in need who are very much affected by the pandemic,” NFR-NCR Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations and PIO head Lieutenant Jude Manjares said.
“We provide manpower as we work hand-in-hand with Tanging Yaman Foundation Inc. to help in the repacking and distribution of goods,” he added.
Spirit of charity
According to Tanging Yaman Foundation Inc. founder Father Manoling Francisco, their efforts together with the military have already amounted to over P125 million worth of relief goods being distributed to thousands of families since the start of the quarantine restrictions in March last year.
“Indeed, we are grateful for the collaborative effort from all parties involved who have allotted time, money and effort to make our relief operations truly meaningful,” the Jesuit priest divulged.
“The efforts have helped those who have lost their jobs and those who have nothing to eat because of this pandemic,” he continued.
Basically, one pack contains three kilos of rice, half kilo monggo, three canned sardines, one canned corned beef, one canned meat loaf and three packs of instant noodles.
“This is already a big help for our family, especially during this pandemic,” one community resident Rosanna Alinsangan who lost her job to the quarantine restrictions said after receiving one pack. (Malaking tulong po ito sa aming pamilya, lalo na sa panahon ng pandemya).
“We are truly grateful for this.” (Nagpapasalamat po kami dahil dito).