Davao City Mayor recruits LGBT+ for COVID food distribution

Davao City Mator
Image: Philippine Women's College of Davao Twitter

Faced with corrupt officials giving away emergency rice supplies, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte called on the local LGBT+ community to help. Davao City is on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao. The mayor said she chose the LGBT+ community because as people subject to marginalisation they understood the need for inclusion.

“We needed to do this for those who are sceptical of the political structure or those who were missed-out by barangay [district] officials. We needed to find another structure to help find those who need rice assistance.”

The local Commissioner for Urban Poor, Norman Baloro organised the undertaking. He enlisted LGBT+ alumni, students and staff of the Philippine Women’s College and other members of the local LGBT+ community. The volunteers bagged 4,315 bags of rice. They then distributed the rice to the poor in 181 out of the city’s 182 barangays. When one barangay refused the rice, organisers divided its share among the other districts.

Following the successful distribution, the Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte thanked the LGBT+ community.

“They deserve a round of applause because they are finally finished. Thank you very much.”

She said that the LGBT+ community volunteered to help their fellow citizens despite the impact of COVID-19 on their own community.

Davao City Mayor
Image: Norman Baloro Facebook

Norman Baloro, LGBT Davao City Coalition

Norman Baloro posted on Facebook about the endeavour.

“A person who feels appreciated will always do more than expected.

“On behalf of the LGBT Davao City Coalition and the entire LGBT community in Davao City, I am strongly grateful for this recognition.”

Norman thanked his fellow LGBT+ community members for their time and effort. He noted that some of those they delivered food to would otherwise have had no assistance.

He also said the LGBT+ community would continue to promote inclusiveness. Further, he noted his community’s willingness to render future assistance to their fellow citizens.

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