Suba folks worry that COVID-19 infection will worsen their poverty

By: Gerard Vincent Francisco - Photo-Videographer/CDN Digital | April 22,2020 - 01:06 PM

The fish port in Barangay Suba, Cebu City was closed for 12 hours starting Tuesday night, April 21, 2020, for its disinfection. | Gerard Vincent Francisco

CEBU CITY, Philippines -Some residents of Barangay Suba in Cebu City lost their source of income with the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine  (ECQ) starting on March 28.

They now fear that the discovery of a COVID-19 patient in their coastal community would worsen their situation.

Read: Cebu City logs 7 new COVID-19 cases

Crisinciano Tagsip, 54, said he lost his job as a stevedore at the Suba fish port since the ECQ started.

“Pwerte nang paita. Sa duha ka adlaw kausa rami maka kaon og bugas,” he said.

(Life has been very difficult for me and my family. In a period of two days, we only get to eat rice ones.)

But all that he could do is to hope and pray that everything will already go back to normal so he could already report back for work and support the needs of his family.

Like Tagsip, Dita Torion, a tricycle driver, said that she now relies on government dole-outs to feed her family.

Torion, 56, said that she hasn’t been able to drive her tricycle and earn her daily keep since the ECQ started.

“Ang amo kay mawala lang gyud ning COVID ba. Kung ingon ani atong kahimtang hangtud sa hangtud paita gyud kaayo ni.”

(I look forward to the day when the city will already be free of COVID-19. If what we are now experiencing will continue, life will be very difficult for all of us.)

Vilma Abapo, a vendor at the nearby Pasil Fish Market, said that reports of a COVID-19 infection in Barangay Suba is a cause for worry.  However, she said, that this will not prevent vendors like her from selling which is their only source of livelihood.

Abapo, 53, said that they will just have to adopt measures that will protect them from getting the infection.

Suba resident Raquel Dalima, 54, said that she has also warned her children and grandchildren to refrain from visiting the fish port for now.

“Nahadlok gyud mi ani gyud. Wa mi kahibaw asa dapita kay taas raba ni ang fish port.”

(Reports of a COVID-19 infection in our area has made us fear for our safety.  We do not know exactly where the patient lives because the fish port is a big area.)

Dalima is asking residents in their area to agree to especially prohibit the entry of outsiders for their protection.

The Department of Public Serviced (DPS) of the Cebu City Hall also closed the fish port Tuesday night for disinfection. / dcb

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TAGS: Barangay Suba, Cebu City, COVID-19, fish port, poverty

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