By Albert B. Lacanlale
LUBAO, Pampanga—Close to 500 scavengers, locally known as “mangangalakal”, received financial and food assistance from the Pineda family of Lubao on Friday (August 10).
Gathered at the M. Pineda Sports Complex in Barangay San Nicolas 1st, here, each of the scavengers received 25 kilograms of rice, canned goods and cash donated by businessman Rodolfo “Bong” Pineda and wife, Pampanga Governor Lilia “Nanay” Pineda.
The spouses’ children, Vice Governor Dennis Pineda and Lubao Mayor Mylyn Pineda-Cayabyab, led the distribution of the assistance. Numbering 480, the scavengers come from the Pampanga’s Second District which is comprised of the towns of Sasmuan, Porac, Floridablanca, Sta. Rita, Guagua and Lubao.
The awarding in Lubao was only one among several venues in the distribution of financial and food packages to the scavengers whom the provincial government is tapping to help in proper garbage segregation and disposal in the different municipalities.
Vice Gov. Pineda, in his message, said the assistance was his father’s idea after various areas in Pampanga were hit by floods due to the southwest monsoon rains.
The vice governor reminded the scavengers not to indulge in illegal drugs and ensured them of their family’s continuous assistance. His office, he added, will also be open to extend medical assistance, when needed, to the scavengers and their respective families.
Those who were not able to attend the turn over of assistance in Lubao were invited to participate in the next distribution in the City of San Fernando.
Mayor Cayabyab, for her part, thanked the scavengers for their support to the Pineda family.
“You were always there for us, now we are returning the favor by means of consistent social services to you and your family,” the mayor said in the vernacular.