Metro mayors call for aid to all poor residents backed

HOUSE Deputy Minority Leader and Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate and Bayan Muna Chairman Neri Colmenares on Sunday strongly backed the call of Metro Manila mayors for all of the poor residents in their respective lists be given economic relief.

"The quota system being imposed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Department of Finance (DoF) would not work especially since their figures is very outdated being a census in 2015," said Zarate.

"As it is the local government units may have been unfairly set up by Malacañang to be blamed because of the grave failings of the national government to address the coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic. If the number of poor is understated and the funds given are also lacking, then LGUs would certainly bear the brunt of the people's ire," Zarate stressed.

"It would really be best if the DSWD and the DoF reinstate the original number of poor beneficiaries the mayors submitted because they are the ones who know their constituents," Zarate pointed out.

Meanwhile, Colmenares said "the mayors are correct in criticizing the two agencies’ figures because they did not match the current much bigger number of their poor constituents."

Last Tuesday, the Metro Manila Council (MMC) passed a resolution signed by all 17 mayors asking the DSWD and the DoF to reinstate the “original number” of beneficiaries of the social amelioration fund “in the higher interest of preserving public order, safety and health, and for the 17 LGUs (local government units) to effectively perform their duties and functions” during the lockdown.