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My in-laws in Guimaras, the island province we call home, are taking a major financial hit due to the closing of their private school. Our niece, April, in Metro Manila, has also been out of work since the enhanced quarantine measures went into effect. Of course, millions of Filipinos, along with millions of people across the world have gone without a paycheck for weeks due to COVID-19 lockdowns.

The Philippine government recently announced new quarantine guidelines. Guimaras, which has not recorded any COVID-19 cases, will be under a General Community Quarantine, CGC, effective May 1, 2020. However, the new guidelines recommend that schools in “GCQ” regions should not open until September.

My sister-in-law Alida has been operating a successful private school, the Guimaras Joyful School, for over eight years. Alida has grown the enrollment in her school to over 70 students. What began as a pre-school has now evolved into a school offering classes for Grade 1 and Grade 2 pupils.

guimaras joyful preschool

Work on a building for an upcoming Grade 3 classroom has come to a halt. Alida and Joery were receiving a government loan to build new classrooms but their funding is now on hold due to the COVID-19 crisis.

The school is the primary source of income for Alida and her family. Husband Joery’s salted egg business is still allowed to operate. However, it does not provide enough income to provide our two nieces who teach at the school with a salary.  

Alida with other officers of school and students

Sister-in-law Alida, center, with some of her students

Our niece Michelle, the aforementioned April’s twin sister, lives with Alida and Joery, and teaches at the school. Our niece, Shaina, also teaches at the school, and resides with us. Alida and Joery also support two daughters, a son, and Nanay, Alida and my wife’s mother. We support my father-in-law, afflicted with Alzheimer’s. He lives in a nipa hut behind us.

The Schools Will Remain Closed

While the General Community Quarantine might relax quarantine rules in our island province, all businesses deemed as “essential” can now only operate from 6 am to 1 pm. However, schools and churches will remain closed. Earlier, the Philippine Department of Education recommended an August 1 opening for schools.

Of course, millions of people all over the planet are suffering due to the economic fallout of the COVID-19 quarantines. That said we would still like to help our sister-in-law Alida and our nieces who are now jobless. Expenses continue to mount, also, for my father-in-law.

Therefore, we are asking for any donations from our readers to help assist us in this cause. While I know many of you are also going through difficult times, if you’re able to help in any way, no matter how small the donation, it would be sincerely appreciated. Donations will be distributed to our relatives mentioned in this article.  It would help them in their hour of need. Thank you in advance and God Bless.

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