MANILA – The Makati city government has started the distribution of some 240,000 Christmas gift bags containing food packs along with free face masks and face shields to its residents.

In a statement on Friday, Mayor Abigail Binay said recipients cover senior citizens, persons with disabilities (PWD), solo parents, registered jeepney and tricycle operators and drivers, and local government employees residing in the city.

Binay said the city government has started the door-to-door distribution of the "Pamaskong Handog" tickets for Christmas goodies on November 2.
The city government has earlier distributed free face masks and face shields to nearly 10,000 city hall employees as part of efforts amid the shift to the "new normal."

Binay said the measure targets to ensure the safety of the workers from contracting coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

It could also prevent local transmission of the disease including among city hall workers and the residents.

"We are now providing these protective items to our residents," Binay said. "We want them to remain healthy and safe especially this Christmas season."

Since the onset of the Covid-9 pandemic, the city government has been implementing strategic policies and programs to keep its residents safe from the dreaded virus.

Under City Ordinance no. 2020-089, the local government has made it mandatory for residents, workers, and visitors to wear face masks anywhere outside their homes.

The city government also conducted free flu and pneumonia vaccination to the residents in order to boost their immune system amid the health crisis.

Various front-liners, suspected and probable Covid-19 cases, and other vulnerable residents have availed of the free coronavirus tests under the city’s targeted mass testing program.

Some 6,000 public utility vehicle drivers and market vendors in the city underwent pooled swab testing.

To date, the city health department is conducting pooled swab testing in various barangays in Makati. (PNA)