Farmers to gov’t: Php5k-P8k cash aid under Bayanihan ‘social amelioration’ seems like April Fools Joke

DSWD must cancel bureaucratic process of social amelioration

The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) said the government’s social amelioration package and provision of cash assistance to 18 million low-income families have become more uncertain. “Workers, farmers, fisher folks, and urban poor families whose livelihood were severely affected by lockdowns are depending on President Duterte’s pronouncement that the government would provide P5k to P8k cash aid. It’s like the government played a bad joke on the people.”

While the operational guidelines for the emergency subsidy program is expected to be released today, the Department of Social Welfare and Department (DSWD) announced that the social amelioration package of P5k to P8k subsidy would consist of cash and non-cash assistance or in the form of family food packs.

“Isang malaking lokohan ba ito? Pinapaikot lang ba tayo ng DSWD? Napakahirap na nga makakuha o maka-avail ng tulong mula sa gobyerno. Ngayon sasabihin pa ng DSWD na ang ipamimigay lang nila ay P3,000 cash at relief goods,” says KMP chairperson Danilo Ramos.

DSWD Director Irene Dumlao said in a media interview that the transfer or distribution of aid will be in cash and in kind or family food packs. The cash equivalent of Php3,000 in the National Capital Region will be distributed under the financial assistance to individuals in crisis situation. The amount for beneficiaries in provinces will be lower. Boladas lang pala ang P5k hanggang P8k na tulong sa mahihirap. Nasaan at sino ang makikinabang sa P275-bilyong pondo ng Bayanihan para sa COVID?

Based on the DSWD issued guidelines for the availment of social amelioration package, the LGUs will distribute social amelioration card forms to poor households in the barangay which will be used as basis for the determination of target beneficiaries who will recieve the aid.  Barangays will submit the accomplished forms to the city or municipal welfare development office which will in turn submitted the forms to the DSWD Field Office. “There is no sense of urgency in this process of social amelioration. It is very prone to abuse and political patronage and it would also take weeks to finish this rigorous process. NGAYON na kailangan ng mga pamilya ang ayuda at pagkain. Baka patay na ang benepisaryo bago makarating ang tulong,” Ramos said.

KMP reiterated its demand to the government and the Department of Agriculture for a P10,000 emergency cash assistance to farmers and fisherfolk families and production subsidies. 

Dispersal and arrest of protesting urban poor in Quezon City hit 

KMP also condemned the violent dispersal of protesting residents of  Sitio San Roque in Quezon City. The residents of the neighborhood opted to launch a protest-barricade along EDSA Ave. to demand relief and assistance from the local government of Quezon City and national government agencies but they were met with truncheon-wielding police and dispersal team. At least nine individuals were arrested.  
“The people are left with no choice but to assert their urgent demands. Nasa ikatlong linggo na ang quarantine pero wala pa ring lumalapag na tulong at relief packs galing sa LGU ng Quezon City sa napakaraming barangay. Makatwiran ang pagkilos ng mga maralita. Dapat silang pakinggan at ayudahan ng gobyerno. Sa halip, dahas ang isinagot sa kanila. Pagkain ang hinihingi nila. Gutom na at walang trabaho ang mga maralita. Nasaan ang puso ng gobyerno na nagawang saktan ang mga humihingi ng tulong?” Ramos concluded. Quezon City currently has the highest number of COVID19+ patients at 151 individuals as of March 31. ### 
Reference: Danilo Ramos, 0975-4582933

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