Mary Jean Serafin of Chexie Rice Trading is the partner supplier of SAFER Foundation for the food kits in North Bay Boulevard (North and South).
Supplying and delivering rice are not the only services that Chexie Rice Trading provides. While transacting with them, Jean did more than just provide rice. The project inspired volunteerism as they took initiative to do repacking, lending the delivery truck and her staff, and have the owner be personally present during the distribution. ”Kailangan ma-distribute ng maayos kaya nagdadala din ako ng tao ko. Tumutulong ang tauhan ko para ma-maintain ang peace and order.” (The distribution needs to be organized which is why I also brought my people to help. This is to maintain the peace and order.)
When asked if there was any difficulty during the distribution, Jean praised the people for being orderly. “Ang tao kapag pinapaliwanag mo ang social distancing, sumusunod naman. They fall in line. Lahat ng may pangalan, mabibigyan.” (If you explain social distancing, people follow and fall in line. All those with names are given rice.)
This is not the first time that the wife and husband team supplied NGOs with items for relief goods. They also did this during Ondoy and Yolanda. One time, there was a school in Quezon City that ordered rice in bulk/big quantities from their store, when they knew that the school could always find suppliers in their own city. They don’t know how NGOs or groups get to identify them as supplier, but they deliver anyway.
Vivian Illut of NLMNF asked around among rice suppliers (bigasan) at the Agora market who could supply goods for their relief packs and will agree to directly receiving the payment from a donor, and Jean said they can do it. If procurement is for relief operations, Jean said they usually either sell at a discount (she gave a discount for SAFER relief efforts) or do not add a profit margin. Nevertheless, they know this kind of efforts usually has a return, in terms of good sales or gaining “suki.” For this pandemic and lockdown period, this husband and wife team also provided relief goods for their neighbors in need, or who have no income for the period. Their pack contains 7.5 kilos of rice and 15 eggs, 1 liter of oil and 1 kg of sugar.
Jean’s message to all the donors and volunteers is simple. “Kailangan pasalamatan natin sila. Ang pagvolunteer ay hindi po biro. Dapat thankful tayo sa kanila.” (We need to thank them. Being a volunteer is no joke.)
SAFER Foundation is leading the distribution of food kits in partnership with Aksyon sa Kahandaan sa Kalamidad at Klima (AKKMA.) Nagkakaisang Lakas ng Maralitang Navoteño Federation Inc. (NLMNF) provides ground work for profiling and community organizing.
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SAFER Foundation continues to do weekly distribution in Navotas during the extended enhanced community quarantine (ECZQ) with the funds raised from donors.
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