Best Practice Profile

• Proponent: LGU-Barcelona
• Coverage: 25 Barangays in Barcelona
• Number of
Beneficiaries: 6,444 families
• Amount : Php 4,781,713.03
• Source of Funds: One-Month Additional IRA (Bayanihan Grant to Cities and Municipalities or BGCM)
• Situs: The Trellis, Pob. Sur

Background Context & Goals

Upon the approval by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte of the Bayanihan Grant to Cities and Municipalities (BGCM), the Department of Budget and Management released money to cover the funding requirements for the one-time financial assistance to cities and municipalities.

The BGCM is equivalent to a one-month FY 2020 Internal Revenue Allotment share of the cities and municipalities.

For Barcelona, the amount of Php7,252,466.00 came to its coffers.

Per Local Budget Circular No. 125, dated April 7, 2020, the BGCM shall be exclusively used for COVID-19-related programs, projects, activities (PPAs) like food assistance and other relief goods.

With the enhanced financial capacity to extend food assistance, this LGU conceptualized the grant of five hundred worth of food coupons to all families, which in more ways than one, were affected by the Covid-19 global health emergency particularly the lockdown.

Without a doubt, with food coupons, it is an accurate statement to say that what was earmarked by the government for people’s food assistance and other relief goods went squarely to people’s food assistance and other relief goods.

Called the LGU-ECQ MRKT FOOD COUPON, it was an enhanced and bigger version of the first-generation LGU-ECQ MRKT BARGAIN FOOD. Instead of the LGU merely subsidizing food prices, the LGU gave all 6,444 families of Barcelona free food items of their own choice. Food shopping free of charge — that truly empowered them.

For purposes of computing the Php500.00 amount of the food coupon, food items were priced unbelievably low so that, effectively, all families brought home more items worth much bigger than Php500.00.

The private sector, especially local hog raisers and meat vendors, received added collateral benefits because LGU sourced out pork from them.

What’s more was that the LGU included in the shopping list relief goods comprising other household food and non-food items such as milk, chocolate drink, bath soap, laundry soap.

With the LGU-ECQ MRKT BARGAIN FOOD as progenitor and springboard of this LGU-ECQ MRKT FOOD COUPON, the former’s backstory shall be made part hereof:

“The Coronavirus or COVID-19 crisis is ripping the world without mercy. It infects people with no regard for race, gender, age, and social class. It’s a pandemic. Government, leaders, decisionmakers, organizations, influencers, and the public-at-large have to respond to the crisis right now, right here, and fast, lest the grim death toll spirals infinitely.

COVID-19 is punishing the people, the economy.

Interventions like wearing a face mask, social or physical distancing, cough etiquette, and frequent proper handwashing are newly-embraced minimum health standards. Extreme measures like lockdown or strict community quarantine or 24/7 curfew are harsher that totally restrict movements and foot and vehicle traffic.

But then, without these measures, people would not likely pause and stay home — at the cost of many lives.

With the passing days, daily living tends to grind exceedingly difficult particularly for the less pliant and for those belonging to the most vulnerable sectors, who both endure the highest stress level and, possibly, mental baggage, caused by COVID-19-induced social and economic changes referenced as the new world order, that is, the new normal.

Without public transportation, and with travel limited to the most essentials, and with certain age groups confined to their homes 24/7, putting food on the table has become problematic so that help from the outside, in terms of food assistance, is imperative. The limited number of ECQ Pass authorizing essential travel could not close the gap.

Looking after the welfare of the food-insecure population at an extraordinary time like now, this local government unit (LGU), with its meager utilizable food budget for all 6,444 families in its entire 25 barangays, birthed the idea of providing them a bargain, yet, high quality and nutritious food.

Beyond the dole-out rice-sardines-instant-noodles default by most local government units, this LGU targeted to empower all families to have food choices. The LGU purchased and made available to the an array of food items including rice, smoked fish, eggs, chicken, pork, vegetable, milk, coffee, and sugar, all at reduced prices. The bulk of the cost of the food items was for the account of the LGU, using its current meager utilizable budget for food.

The big-picture view was for this LGU to be able to stretch its food budget while tending to the gastronomic needs of its townspeople who, at this pandemic time more than ever, need nutritive eats to boost their immune system as armor against coronavirus. Making the budget last longer was compelling to sustain LGU’s food assistance amidst the crisis whose end is nowhere in sight.

Recognizing that rejuvenating effects have been associated with natural settings like the outdoors and public parks, the LGU established an outdoor food store at a town square called The Trellis. The outdoor food store was known as the Local Government Unit Enhanced Community Quarantine Market Bargain Food or LGU-ECQ MRKT with the local catchphrase: Pigado Kaya Barato.

With no cure or vaccine, the stress and mental baggage induced by Covid-19, particularly, by the lockdown, would last for months more, hence, an outdoor experience like going to the market, no matter how brief, is one potent antidote.

However, lest it is seen as careless or disobedient to health protocols, the Local Chief Executive (LCE) issued an Executive Order institutionalizing systematic food shopping mechanics including observance of minimum health standards and appropriate signages and safe circles markings.

The LCE engaged its Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Office (MDRRMO), the Sangguniang Bayan, the Liga ng Barangay, the Municipal Police Station, and the Bureau of Fire Protection ensuring order and compliance with health protocols including sanitation, and the Municipal Environment Office (MENRO) for purposes of waste management and disposal.

A good number of LGU employees on work-from-home arrangements volunteered to join the frontliners in the food store with tasks like purchasing, merchandising, packing, selling and tending the food store, recording subsidy, and impeding the spread of coronavirus and keeping everyone safe.

Work Program

Nature of Work:

Creating a platform for free food for all families by empowering them to make accessible to the food choices free of charge.

In computing the Php500-worth food coupon, food items were assigned unbelievably low prices thus, food shoppers brought home more items: Php25.00 for a kilo of rice, Php150.00 for a kilo of pork (any part); Php100.00 for a kilo of dressed chicken, Php40.00 for a kilo of smoked fish, Php18.00 for a kilo of brown sugar, Php5.00 for a piece of egg, and so on.

Food shoppers carried with them the food coupon distributed to each family per barangay days ahead of schedule, together with ECQ Pass to be allowed entry into the outdoor food store.

The Trellis at Pob. Sur, Barcelona

Targeted Beneficiaries:

6,444 families of the entire 25 barangays of Barcelona

The timescale for work completion:

Thirteen (13) days with assigned day and time for each barangay from April 17 through April 29, 2020.

Work Plan

i. Met with Punong Barangays, Sangguniang Bayan & Chief of Offices (LCE)
• Set up food tents (LCE)
• Installed appropriate signages (LGU)
• Installed handwashing facility (LGU)
• Installed temporary fence for outdoor food store (LGU)
• Painted safe circles for queuing & social distancing(LGU-MDRRMO)
• Sanitization of outdoor food store (BFP)
• Printed queue cards (LGU-Mayor’s Office) (LGU-Mayor’s Office)
• Printed food coupons indicating schedule and shopping list (LGU-Mayor’s Office & Liga ng Barangay
• Distributed food coupon per family in all 25 barangays (LGU-Mayor’s Office & LNB)

ii. Food shoppers DataBase
• Arranged food items (LGU-Mayor’s Office, SB, Chief of Offices)
• Served hot porridge to food shoppers (LGU)
• Encoded name of the head of the family (LGU-Mayor’s Office)
• Kept stock inventory on the check (LGU-Mayor’s Office)
• Managed & disposed of garbage (LGU-MENRO)
• Manned human traffic (PNP & LGU-MDRRMO)

iii. Dismantled Food Tents
• Disinfected outdoor food store(LGU-MDRRMO & BFP)
• Post-assessment (LGU)

Financial Plan

Food Assistance & other relief goods through LGU-ECQ MRKT FOOD COUPON4,781,713.03

1casesSurf Active Fresh 288x57g10108010800
2casesSurf Ultra Fresh 144x80g10669.66696
3sacksSurf Powder Cherry Blossom S 288x65g151411.221168
4casesSurf Powder Kalamansi S 288gx57g151411.221168
5casesSurf Powder Sun Fresh S 288x65g151411.221168
6casesSurf Powder Tawas S 288x57g51411.27056
7casesSurf Bar Blossom Fresh 36x350g4813.63254.4
8casesSurf Bar Sun Fresh 36x350g4813.63254.4
9sacksSurf Bar Blue 36x350g5619.23096
10casesSurf Bar Tawas 36x350g4705.62822.4
11casesWings Bar156259375
12casespowder soap 60 grams, 288 packs/case8277422192
13sackspowder soap 50 grams, 288packs/sacks551472.7581001.25
14casesbath soap 60 grams, 160 packs/case101797.7517977.5
Sub total231028.95
15boxNescafe Blend & Brew Orig (28g)229485896
16boxGreat Taste Premium 25g58154075
17boxBirch tree 33g45112050400
18boxCoffeemate 5gx960216003200
19boxBirch Tree 33gx16050112056000
21pcsMilo Actgen E 22gpl4208535700
22casesKremTop Creamer 5g4042.751710
23bundleIW Bag2320640
26trayfresh egg47020094000
28kilosOnion (pickles)5206935880
30kilosKamatis (baguio)259.55514272.5
34kilos Kamote I4745425596
41kilosOnion (pickles)4827033740
43kilosKamatis (baguio)221.55512182.5
47kilos Kamote I4365423544
54kilosOnion (D1)187.58515937.5
59kilosKamote I194.5458752.5
60kilos Kamote II140.17486728.16
64kilosOnion (D1)295.58525117.5
69kilosKamote II302.54814520
70kilos Kamote III248.174611415.67
82kls.DRIED FISH450050225000
83kls.SMOKE FISH/TINAPA250060150000
84trayfresh eggs604215129860
85packs10 x 14 100151500
92klsdressed chicken5361.74100536174
93casespowder milk, 25 grms, 74 packs/case50522.526125
94cases3N1 coffee, 50 grms, 25 packs/case761411.5107274
95casescream all, 2 grms, 360 packs/case5715.53577.5
96casescoffee, 25 grms 48 packs/case11685699296
97casesmilo, 25 grms, 288 packs/case103616.2536162.5
98sackssugar, 50kls30188556550
99sackssugar, 50kls401885.0575402
100boxesgreat taste coffee, 48pcs/box50830.541525
101scksbrown sugar, 50 kls./scks13188524505
102trayFresh eggs, 30pcs./tray382007600
103pcsFresh eggs,6742
105boxesgreat taste coffee, 48pcs/box6385653928
106boxesbrown sugar, 50 kls./scks30188556550
Sub total4550684.08

COVID-19-Safe & Systematic Buying & Selling Mechanics

Food tents for each free food were installed with corresponding food labels. The food tents were positioned methodically given human traffic considerations to make food shopping enjoyable despite its structured nature due to health standards.

Non-perishable food items were purchased at least two days ahead while perishable food items like pork and vegetables were made available on the market day itself to ensure freshness.

The outdoor food store hours started at 7:00 o’clock in the morning until all food shoppers for the day were served.

Food shoppers arrived at the outdoor food store on scheduled day & time as arranged by the LCE days ahead by notifying all families per barangay through the Punong Barangays whom the LCE personally met to introduce to them the program concept and acquaint them with the platform, highlighting the need for ECQ Pass issued by the LCE, transportation, and health protocols.
Food shoppers were encouraged to use baskets made of indigenous materials or reusable shopping bags.

Face masks and alcohol for hand hygiene were available to food shoppers free of charge.

A database of food shoppers, who must have done proper handwashing earlier at the handwashing facility forming part of the platform, was maintained at the entryway of the outdoor food store where they presented their ECQ Pass and provided their personal circumstances to an LGU clerk.

There was a holding area with chairs for the first 100 early birds. The rest of the food shoppers occupied the safe circles painted along the shaded part of The Trellis.

Queuing was aided by sequentially numbered cue cards.

The outdoor food store had but one entry and one exit to ensure smooth flow of traffic thereby keeping to the minimum human movement and virus transmittance risk. Food shoppers were guided to not go back and forth to the food tents while shopping. Per the time and motion study by LGU, early food shoppers were done shopping in twelve minutes.

Alcohol with dispenser for hand sanitation was provided at the entryway and exit of the outdoor store where food shoppers surrendered his/her queuing card.

COVID-19 Health Protocols Observed

Food shoppers, as well as merchandisers, sellers, and all personnel, thrust to the front lines across the LGU-ECQ MRT Food Coupon days strictly observed health protocols including the following:

1. Proper handwashing at the handwashing facility installed by the entryway of the outdoor food store;
2. Queuing with the aid of safe circles painted on the paved ground;
3. Social and physical distancing;
4. Proper wearing of face mask at all times while outside their residence and are at the outdoor food store;
5. Hand hygiene with the use of alcohol;
6. Strict observance of appropriate signages on order, safety, and garbage disposal.


This paper has conveyed the wisdom of this people-centric program, its innovative and creative attributes, and the economic, health, and social benefits that redounded to all 6,444 families — for sure family heads shared the manna with their entire household.

It also is one good governance indicator because the program mirrored one known dimension of governance, that is, government effectiveness — it was a model how an LGU creatively and efficiently managed funds from the national government intended for people’s food and relief goods and squarely accomplishing exactly that.

As an aside, if unbought Facebook likes/comments/shares and engagement numbers do matter — with Facebook being the most popular social media platform — the over 2k signal of agreement and affirmation to this LGU-ECQ MRT Food Coupon FB post, is a badge of honor.

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