Actress Bela Padilla starts fundraiser to help Metro Manila street vendors affected by lockdown

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Unlike certain government officials who recently said that Metro Manila’s street vendors should just scram during the city’s monthlong lockdown (*cough* Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez *cough*), actress Bela Padilla has taken it upon herself to do something to help out those streetside stalwarts, starting a fundraising effort to help the vendors put food on the table amid this time of national strife.

On Twitter last night, the 28-year-old actress posted a message musing about the hardships faced by the street vendors, and asking if there was any way for her to help out.

“How do the taho [sweetened silken tofu and tapioca pearls], Sampaguita [local jasmine], chips and basahan [rag] vendors we see on EDSA who probably sold close to nothing today eat tonight. And tomorrow? And the whole month?”

Then, in a follow-up post this afternoon, Padilla tweeted that she would be taking matters into her own hands.

“The best solution I came up with is for us to donate. I set up an account… I will personally see to it that the money we raise will go to the right people.”

The actress then shared a GoGetFunding link titled “Pagkain para sa Pinoy,” or “Food for Filipinos.”

The fundraiser aims to raise PHP1 million (US$190,500) in 15 days. As of this afternoon, at least 170 people had donated over PHP150,000 (US$2,912) towards the cause.

The fundraiser’s description notes that street vendors “won’t be able to secure enough money to guarantee food for their families… for one month until our community quarantine is over.”

“Let’s lookout for them please and donate what we can.”

The fundraiser accepts donations as small as PHP1 (about US$0.020), and the total money raised after 15 days will be split evenly among the 16 cities in Metro Manila affected by the lockdown.

Born Krista Elyse Hidalgo Sullivan, the Filipina-British Padilla has been acting since 2007. The 28-year-old has won several best actress awards locally, including one for her role in the 2018 romcom 100 Tula para kay Stella (100 Poems for Stella). Bela’s stage name is a nod to her relation to the Padillas, a clan of popular actors in the Philippines.

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