Binay disappointed with sluggish food packs distribution

SENATOR Nancy Binay expressed disappointment over the apparent lack of urgency and the sluggish distribution of food packs as the nationwide lockdown enters its third week.

According to Binay, the P46-million worth of family food packs the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) distributed in the regions are not enough to even cover the 17.6 million Filipinos--or over 3 million families--who are living below the poverty threshold.

"If the DSWD is really serious in providing immediate assistance to those who are affected by the lockdown, then bilisan naman ang ayuda. Pa-three weeks na tayo pero P46 million pa lang ang nailalabas para sa family food packs nationwide. At the rate things are going, dehado ang mamamayang Pilipino," the senator said.

"I wonder where this would bring us if DSWD will only wait for the requests from LGUs for augmentation. Nasa 100 milyon ang Pilipino. Yung paglabas ng P46M, hangga't di nakakarating sa mga nangangailangan ang ayuda, di ibig sabihin ay na-fulfill ang trabaho," Binay added.

As of March 30, the DSWD distributed a total of P46,638,918.97 worth of family food packs to its regional field offices in response to the requests of LGUs for resource augmentation.

"Remember, di na kayang magsustain ng mga barangay. Kailangan ba talagang ubusin muna ang pondo ng munisipyo bago humingi sa national government? May sapat na pera at pondo ang DSWD from the national government, dapat tuloy-tuloy lang ang ayuda. Bigyan na kaagad ang mga LGU bago pa maubos o mawalan ng pondo. Pilay na nga ang mga barangay, mas mapipilayan pa dahil sa red tape," Binay stressed.

The senator said it is unacceptable that LGUs still need to formally request for augmentation from the DSWD before food packs are released to them.

"Sobrang nakakalungkot ang nangyari sa mga nagsakripisyo at namatay para sa bayan. Sa isang banda, ang di katanggap-tanggap ay may mga pamilyang mamamatay sa gutom dahil sa kapabayaan. This is not the way to heal a nation," Binay said.