Sen. Binay criticizes DSWD’s ‘sluggish’ distribution of food assistance
MANILA, Philippines — The P46-million worth of family food packs distributed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) across the country are not enough to feed the 17.6 million Filipinos who are living below the poverty threshold.
Senator Nancy Binay expressed such disappointment over the agency’s “lack of urgency” and “sluggish” distribution of food packs as the country enters its third week of the quarantine period.
As of Monday, March 30, the DSWD has distributed a total of P46,638,918.97 worth of family food packs to its regional field offices in response to the requests of local government units (LGUs) for resource augmentation.
“If the DSWD is really serious in providing immediate assistance to those who are affected by the lockdown, then bilisan naman ang ayuda. Pa-three weeks na tayo pero P46 million pa lang ang nailalabas para sa family food packs nationwide. At the rate things are going, dehado ang mamayang Pilipino,” she said in a statement.
(They should expedite the distribution of assistance. We are already approaching the third week of quarantine but only P46 million are being given for the food packs of families nationwide. At the rate of things are going, the Filipinos are at the receiving end.)
“Yung paglabas ng P46M, hangga’t di nakakarating sa mga nangangailangan ang ayuda, di ibig sabihin ay na-fulfill ang trabaho,” Binay added.
(The release of the P46 million, unless it reaches those who are in need of it, doesn’t mean it has been fulfilled.)
LGUs will have to put in their requests to DSWD before the agency distribute food packs to their areas. Such practice was slammed by Binay, calling it “unacceptable” due to red tape.
“Remember, di na kayang magsustain ng mga barangay. Kailangan ba talagang ubusin muna ang pondo ng munisipyo bago humingi sa national government? May sapat na pera at pondo ang DSWD from the national government, dapat tuloy-tuloy lang ang ayuda. Bigyan na kaagad ang mga LGU bago pa maubos o mawalan ng pondo. Pilay na nga ang mga barangay, mas mapipilayan pa dahil sa red tape,” she said.
(The barangay can’t sustain it. Do we really need to deplete the fund of the local government before we ask from the national government? DSWD has enough fund from the the national government, the assistance should continue. The LGUs should be given right away before they ran out of budget. The barangays had already been crippled and yet because of red tape, it cripples them even more.)
The DSWD should review its distribution and implementation policies, Binay said, so that it would fit the extraordinary situation brought by the COVID-19 lockdown.
She noted that LGUs are the most vulnerable so the national government should help them.
“Hanggang ngayon maraming mga pamilya ang naghihintay pa rin ng ayuda considering na two weeks na ang nakalipas. The undistributed food packs translates to hundreds of LGUs unserved. Sadly, many families have not felt the help promised on television,” she noted.
(Until now, a lot of families are waiting for assistance considering two weeks had lapsed.)
Last March 16, President Rodrigo Duterte has placed the entire island of Luzon under enhanced community quarantine in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Aside from Luzon, some areas in the Visayas and Mindanao have also implemented their respective lockdowns in response to the crisis situation.
Edited by JPV
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