National ID system could have made cash aid distribution faster – Duterte
MANILA, Philippines — The national ID system could have speeded up the distribution of the government’s emergency subsidy distribution during the COVID-19 crisis, President Rodrigo Duterte said in a late-night televised address on Monday night.
Duterte acknowledged that the implementation of the government’s two-month social amelioration program for low-income families had been delayed by certain issues, including discrepancies in the lists of beneficiaries of the national government and the local government units.
Duterte said the national ID system would have been a game-changer, but he noted that the left opposed its implementation.
“So now you see, we have no ID system until now,” Duterte said in Filipino. “If we have the ID system we could have avoided these delays.”
Duterte signed the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys Act), or Republic Act No. 11055, in August 2018.
The law seeks to harmonize and integrate several government IDs by establishing a single national identification system.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III earlier suggested the “full-blown execution” of the national ID system to address the discrepancies between the databases of the national government and the LGUs in distributing the cash aid.
But Bayan Muna Rep. Ferdinand Gaite said using the national ID in this time of health crisis would be “untimely, impractical, and burdensome for the poor.”
The government has set aside P200 billion worth of cash aid for its social amelioration program to be distributed to about 18 million low-income households, half of which has already been disbursed and the rest are currently being distributed.
Some families have complained, however, about the slow distribution of the emergency cash assistance, while Metro Manila mayors lamented that the amounts given to them for this was based on a 2015 census and was not enough for the poor families on their list.
The beneficiaries are to receive subsidies of P5,000 to P8,000 per household monthly for two months. It is being implemented to help families affected by the Luzon-wide lockdown imposed to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the country.
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