Step up aid to most in need – Vargas

Alfred Vargas

QUEZON City Rep. Alfred Vargas appealed to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to expedite and as much as possible target the most vulnerable sectors in providing financial aid.

In a statement, Vargas asked the DSWD to utilize all possible means to target the most needy when implementing the Social Amelioration Program (SAP).

With the remaining days of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and possible another extension, Vargas said people need more financial assistance.

He said the cash assistance must be disbursed at the quickest time and most effective way.

The solon suggested that the DSWD can prioritize the poorest barangays in the poorest municipalities and assist everyone.

“Ang mahalaga ay nakatulong tayo sa ating kapwa sa pinakamabilis at mahusay na pamamaraan,” he said.

Vargas, vice chair of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Public Information, likewise called on local government units, especially those at the level of the barangay to adhere to what the Department of the Local and Interior Government (DILG) has ordered.

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año in his April 3 memorandum directed all regional directors to ensure that all barangays publicly and  conspicuously post all the names of beneficiaries.

“While some barangays might view posting the names of beneficiaries on their bulletin boards inside their barangay hall as substantial compliance with the memo, in a situation of enhanced community quarantine, not too many can be expected to go to the barangay and view the printed out list of names.  The flip side of it is people might actually flock to the barangay hall to check out if their name is included, violating social distancing rules that we wish to have. In this situation, RDs can further refine the memo to direct all barangays to create a Facebook public account where the names of beneficiaries are posted. That way the public, including the DSWD can cross check the list without physically going to the barangay hall,” Vargas suggested.

Finally, Vargas once more called on the DSWD to make public its Listahanan database that was used in determining the number of beneficiaries down to the barangay level.