Govt’s confusing, bureaucratic implementation of social amelioration could lead to aid-disenfranchised population

The government is creating more confusion and frustration over the granting of social amelioration for sectors and poor families displaced due the ongoing Luzon-wide lockdown or Enhanced Community Quarantine. “Marami ang hindi makakatanggap ng ayuda at cash aid kung hindi aayusin ng gobyerno ang sistema ng pamamahagi ng tulong. Nariyan ang pondo, kailangan lang makarating sa mga nangangailangan.”

It was repeatedly announced that 18 million low-income families will receive P5k to P8k cash aid but the DSWD and LGUs have set a quota and list of target beneficiaries or ‘applicants’ that will have to fulfill certain requirements.

“We are seeing evident problems in the implementation of social amelioration under the Bayanihan We Heal As One act. First, the process set by the DSWD takes too long and very bureaucratic  — from the distribution of forms or Social Amelioration Cards to the actual withdrawal/distribution of cash aid; Second, the number and list of beneficiaries creates division and misunderstanding between 4Ps members and non-4Ps members who were also displaced and severely affected due to the lockdown. Third, the actual amount of cash aid received by beneficiaries is lower than the 5K to 8K as stated in the Bayanihan Act. Lastly, government officials and LGUs also seems to be confused and baffled with the guidelines set by the IATF and the DSWD,” says KMP chairperson Danilo Ramos.

“We have earlier warned that the very exhaustive and bureaucratic process of social amelioration could be exploited for political patronage and corruption. The government must sort out the actual distribution of cash aid or else face a more enraged and discontent population,” Ramos added.  

“The distribution of cash aid started in early April. Mas maraming ulat mula sa mga mahihirap mula sa ibat-ibang barangay na hindi pa sila nakakatanggap ng cash aid. May mga ulat din na may mga sadyang ini-etsa pwera sa listahan ng mga makakatanggap. Paano ang aktwal na tulong sa mga naapektuhang pamilya? Lahat naman ay apektado ng kawalan ng kabuhayan dahil sa lockdown,” the KMP leader said.

Economic displacement, joblessness, and hunger resulting from the lockdown would affect the most vulnerable sectors, notwithstanding the risks of coronavirus community transmission. “A lockdown extension without urgent, effective, and equitable socio-economic support for the population won’t be effective in containing the virus. Mas maraming mamamatay sa gutom, kahirapan at altapresyon sa gobyerno kaysa sa virus,” the KMP leader said.

KMP supports urgent COVID19 screening and mass testing as part of effective medical measures to flatten the curve and beat the pandemic. ###

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