Gov’t subsidy should include stranded transients, says Poe
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Grace Poe on Thursday called for the inclusion of stranded transient migrants as beneficiaries of the P5,000 to P8,000 emergency subsidy amid the month-long enhanced community quarantine in Luzon.
Poe made the appeal to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) which is crafting policies and measures to contain the further spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country.
In a statement on Wednesday, the senator called on the task force to immediately release guidelines for the inclusion of stranded transient migrants in the list of beneficiaries to receive emergency subsidy and commodity assistance from the government.
The senator issued the call amid reports that unregistered residents and non-voters are allegedly being excluded from receiving government aid in some barangays.
“This call is also consistent with the DILG’s (Department of Interior and Local Government) pronouncement that it is illegal for barangay officials to require voter IDs in exchange for food packs,” Poe said.
Transient migrants are also affected by the enhanced community quarantine, she pointed out.
“They don’t need to be registered residents or voters to receive aid. This is everyone’s problem so government must help them,” she added.
Under the newly signed Republic Act No. 11469 or the “Bayanihan to Heal as One Act or Republic,” 18 million low income households will receive P5,000 to P8,000 each in cash subsidy.
There will also be an additional budget to be given to the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations of the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Quick Response Fund of the local governments, Poe noted.
“With Congress’ green light to the reallocation of funds for COVID-19 response, there will be plenty to go around,” the senator said.
“Further, the law made no qualification as to residence so transients must be covered wherever they may be stranded. In times of crisis, no one should be left behind,” Poe further said.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the Department of Health (DOH) has recorded 636 COVID-19 cases in the country.
Of the number, 38 have died while 26 have already recovered.
With the rise of cases in the country, the government has placed the entire Luzon under an enhanced community quarantine to contain the spread of the disease.
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