PNP, AFP to assist in distribution of cash assistance to poor--Eleazar

ACTING on instructions from President Duterte, the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces will assist the Department of Social Welfare and Development in distributing cash assistance to the indigent and other qualified families affected by the strict implementation of the Enhanced Community Quarantine, the head of the Joint Task Force Corona Virus Shield said yesterday.

“In response to the instruction given to me by our Chief PNP, General Archie Gamboa, the Joint Task Force Corona Virus Shield (JTF CV Shield), under my command, is now coordinating with the DSWD  for the orderly and ECQ rules-based distribution of the cash assistance for qualified beneficiaries of the government’s Social Amelioration Program,” said Lieutenant Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar, also the PNP Deputy Chief for Operations.

According to Eleazar, Gen. Gamboa has also instructed him to mobilize all police forces across the country for this effort.

“As such, all unit commanders and chiefs of police down to the municipal and city levels have already been directed to start coordinating with the local offices of the DSWD in their respective areas of jurisdiction and map out plans to ensure the quick and smooth distribution of the cash assistance in their respective areas of responsibilities (AORs),” Eleazar explained.

According to the official, their goal is to ensure the security of the local social workers tasked to distribute the cash assistance while ensuring that the rules on social distancing and home quarantine are strictly observed for the health safety of both the DSWD and police personnel, and the beneficiaries and their respective families.

“We appeal to the public to remain in their houses and observe patience while waiting for the distribution of the cash assistance to help them cope with the adverse effects brought by this pandemic.

President Duterte has already given his word that this cash assistance will be distributed properly and in the soonest possible time—the main reason why he decided to cut the bureaucracy in the distribution by entrusting the cash assistance distribution to the DSWD, police and the military,” he said.

“On behalf of our Chief PNP, we assure the public that the President’s order will be done. In return, all we ask is for the people to respect the rules that will be implemented for the orderly and quick distribution of the cash assistance,” Lt. Gen. Eleazar added.

The official also echoed the warning of Gen. Gamboa against groups and personalities who are planning to take advantage of the cash assistance distribution to instigate disorder and spread fake news aimed at agitating the public to violate the ECQ rules and other existing laws.

“We will use the full force of the law to make sure that you will pay for any of your action that will compromise the security and health safety of not only the DSWD and PNP personnel, but also the people in the community.

This is not the time for selfishness and other interests. Let us work together to help our kababayan who are in dire need of government assistance in this time crisis.

We are Filipinos. Let us show each and everyone and the rest of the world who we are, what we are made of. Together, we will fight as one, and together, we will heal us one,” Eleazar said.