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    Duterte assures low-income households of gov’t aid amid COVID-19 crisis

    MANILA, Philippines – The government will extend assistance to low-income households even those not in the initial list of beneficiaries, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte said on Monday.

    Duterte assures low-income households of gov’t aid amid COVID-19 crisis
    President Rodrigo Roa Duterte holds a meeting with some members of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang on April 13, 2020 | via PCOO

    “We will start giving the aid to those who are not in the list. DSWD and again mag-pinch-hit ang DILG to help in the — or you divide the territory, ‘yung iba DILG, ‘yung iba DSWD,” President Duterte said in his message to the nation.

    “‘Yung mga tao na hindi nasali sa listahan. Gagastos tayo para sa Pilipino. I said we will borrow, we will sell.”

    In a previous report to President Duterte, Social Welfare Secretary Rolando Bautista said the absence of a credible list of beneficiaries from the local government units (LGUs) slowed the grant of assistance to poor households.

    The President said the government could quickly distribute the cash assistance if it adopted a national ID system, a measure opposed by leftist groups.

    “Kung may ID system lang tayo, we could have — naiwasan natin itong mga ‘to,” he said.

    “Because all we have to do — ang kailangan lang namin tanungin namin ‘yung DILG, ilang tao ‘yang barangay na ‘yan, then ipadala namin ‘yung pagkain at kunin na lang ninyo doon sa tindahan ninyo or the disposal point wherever it is.”

    Also, the President made a new instruction to mayors and village chiefs to look for households in far-flung areas needing government assistance in the midst of the current lockdown.

    “‘Yung hindi nakakain, I give it to the barangay captains and the mayors to supervise and look for those guys who are there in the periphery of the barangay.”

    “We have to reach out to them, and this can only be done if the mayor, municipal or city, orders it and the barangay captains follow the order.”

    The government has set aside P200-billion cash aid to be distributed to some 18 million low-income families, with the amount ranging from P5,000 to P8,000 depending on the wage rates in their regions.

    — The Summit Express

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