CAINTA, Rizal – An auction of rare collectible athletic footwear has fetched PHP1 million as of Tuesday, the proceeds of which will help soften the enhanced community quarantine’s (ECQ) economic impact in this town east of Manila.
Cainta Mayor Johnielle Keith Nieto made this announcement after auctioning-off three pairs of shoes daily for the past three weeks, most from his personal collection while others reportedly donated by notable athletes.
The funds raised in the shoe auction are being used to support those whose livelihoods have been disrupted by the lockdown, Nieto said.
The Cainta municipal government continues to strain its coffers helping those who have suddenly found themselves out of work, be they from the marginalized or middle classes. People who have been jobless before the pandemic hit cannot draw from the budget intended to aid workers displaced by the ECQ, he added.
Nieto revealed that Cainta has already spent some PHP100 million in various anti-Covid-19 initiatives since the lockdown took hold last March 15.
The mounting expenses have constrained the municipal government to explore unconventional means of raising funds, such as the shoe auction. Bidding for the remainder of his shoe collection will reportedly continue in the next few days.
Meantime, Nieto revealed that the town needs to raise between PHP300 to PHP500 million to sustain current efforts to combat the Covid-19 pandemic in the post ECQ period, which could last “a few months to a year”.
He said the phase down into the general community quarantine (GCQ) mode, which is expected to commence after May 15, could result in a resurgence of infections if the municipal government relaxes its guard.
He added that in order to free up funds to keep up the fight against Covid-19, many of Cainta’s less pressing programs will be suspended indefinitely. Infrastructure development, distribution of birthday gifts to senior citizens as well as the feeding program will have to give way.
“Some sacrifices must be made because fighting the virus has to take precedence until the threat is over,” he said.
By Miguel Gil/ PNA, May 6, 2020