Cash assistance

April 14, 2020

IT is certainly heartening to know that Congress continues to pass laws, which are all aimed at meeting the health, employment, housing and other needs of the burgeoning population.

As the country’s legislative arm, the two-chamber Congress – the Senate and the House of Representatives – makes sure the Filipino people’s many needs, dreams and aspirations are met.

But various problems arise when these pieces of legislation are implemented, particularly in the countryside where majority of the poor, like farmers and fishermen, work and live.

Why? In a country teeming with election-crazy people, there are public servants, mostly local government and barangay officials, who have the tendency toward what some dub as favoritism.

“Sa kanayunan, hindi nawawala ang palakasan kahit alam ng mga lokal na opisyal na ayaw ni Pangulong Duterte na pinopulitika ang tulong na nanggagaling sa gobyerno nasyonal,” said a farmer in Alcala, Pangasinan.

Take the case of the government’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps). “May mga reklamo na may mga benepisyaryo ng 4Ps ang di karapat-dapat tumanggap ng ayuda mula sa gobyerno,” he added.

“Maraming residente na mas mahirap pa sa daga pero hindi napasama sa 4Ps dahil malayo daw sila sa kusina,” said the farmer who is still waiting for the cash aid as mandated by the “Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.”

Under the said legislation, an indigent family is to receive P5,000 to P8,000 a month for two months as a result of the government-decreed Enhanced Community Quarantine in Luzon.

Three weeks after Congress gave Duterte additional powers to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, the country’s lawmakers are still seeking clarity on the distribution of the cash aid to poor households.

Reports said the legislators want “clearer guidelines” on the distribution of the financial assistance, which has so far left out some of the intended beneficiaries in some parts of Luzon.

Hopefully, however, those tasked to handle the distribution of the cash aid will wake up to their responsibility to ensure the strict implementation of the “Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.”

Ayaw na ayaw ni Pangulong Duterte na may isang Pinoy na mamamatay sa gutom sa panahon ng COVID-19 crisis.