South Korean pretzel stick Pepero took the spotlight when pictures of Pasig City‘s “ayuda” or care package for residents in areas under localized enhanced community quarantine surfaced on social media.
A Twitter user shared a picture of the items they received from the city government which included “tuyo,” packs of noodles, instant coffee and the chocolate-dipped pretzel sticks.
“Grabe ang ayuda!! Kompleto!!” the online user wrote with a heart emoji. She also tagged the Twitter account of Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto, who is active on the microblogging platform.
The city chief, in turn, retweeted her post and replied, “Para di na po kayo lumabas!!! Kung sumunod tayong lahat mas mabilis din po matatapos ang Localized ECQ sa inyo. Ingat po at God bless!”
Sotto’s tweet has so far gained 9,200 retweets and 60,100 likes on the microblogging platform.
Para di na po kayo lumabas!!! Kung sumunod tayong lahat mas mabilis din po matatapos ang Localized ECQ sa inyo. Ingat po at God bless! https://t.co/YWEEJwERpk
— Vico Sotto (@VicoSotto) July 20, 2020
In the comments thread of Sotto’s post, an online user asked why the particular city has “lots of money” to be able to provide such goods in the care package.
Anton Siy, the city’s chief transport planner, replied that having an “open, competitive bidding” enables them to have lots of budget savings.
Sotto in the early week of July revealed that Pasig has saved more than P414 million over the past eight months due to their “realistic” public bidding of the city’s goods and services.
Meanwhile, as his response to the grateful Pasigueño went viral, phrases like “Pepero” and “May Pepero” soon gained traction on the local microblogging platform.
wondered why "may pepero" is trending and discovered that ppl of pasig city received ayuda with pepero 😭😭😭😭😭 can we just make pasig a country and seperate it from ph
— filthy prank (@kits4p) July 20, 2020
Another Pasigueño, who also claims to be a healthcare worker, shared another version of the care package and thanked the mayor for the Pepero.
— ShEyRrYl (@Sherealshey) July 21, 2020
There were others who simply expressed their amazement at the inclusion of an imported snack in the care package.
“Am I seeing a Pepero???? Sa ayuda???? Damn Pasig is legit in a other world,” a Twitter user said in response to a Pasigueño’s picture.
“Sarap lumipat sa pasig kumpleto ayuda may pa pepero pa HAHAHAHA,” remarked another online user.
“Dami na tuloy gusto lumipat dito sa Pasig hahaha well san kayo nakakita ng ayuda na may Pepero kundi dito lang,” wrote another local.
Care packages given by local governments amid quarantine period usually consist of basic food items such as rice, noodles and canned goods.
It is rare that imported goods such as Pepero would be included in the package due to its cost.
Pepero briefly trended on Twitter Philippines on Monday evening following the praises from online users.
Four streets in Napico at Barangay Manggahan were previously placed in a localized ECQ, the strictest community quarantine level, starting July 19 due to the high cases of COVID-19 infections.
Locals are not allowed to leave their homes unless it is for “work and emergency reasons.”
The city government said that will distribute food packs to minimize the need for them to go outside.
Meanwhile, around 80% or approximately 16,500 Pasigueños have received their cash assistance from the Department of Social Welfare and Development through Starpay, a financial technology company.
This includes the beneficiaries who were waitlisted in the first tranche of the social amelioration program before.
Beneficiaries through the company’s web portal were able to validate and set their preferred schedules for receiving the payout in a streamlined manner.
“We understand the state of the beneficiaries and know that the delivery of their ‘ayuda’ at the soonest is critical, which is why we’ve worked to coordinate with the DSWD Field Office as well as with the barangay to ensure a well-coordinated scheduled payout,” Starpay chief operating officer Richard Rosettes said in a release.