‘Faultless’ DSWD chief not invited in House hearing on cash aid delay
MANILA, Philippines — A lawmaker is not laying fault at the door of Social Welfare Secretary Rolando Bautista in the delay in the distribution of cash aid under the government’s Social Amelioration Program (SAP).
This was why the Department of Social Welfare and Development chief was not invited in the House joint panel investigation on the SAP distribution on Monday, Bulacan, 1st District Rep. Jonathan Sy-Alvarado said.
It would be unfair for Bautista to be included in the hearing since it aims to find where the department went wrong in the implementation of the said program, he added.
“Maliwanag naman na sa lebel ni Secretary Bautista ay wala tayong nagiging problema at ang katotohanan kapag may panaghoy ang ating mga kababayan na ipinarating natin kay Secretary Bautista, siya kaagad ay napakabilis umaksyon,” Sy-Alvarado, who chairs the House panel on good government and public accountability, said.
(It is clear that we find no fault in the level of responsibility of Bautista. Whenever there are concerns raised with him, he immediately takes action.)
“Kaya unfair po kung isasama natin siya dito sa hearing na ito, dahil ang hearing pong ito ay hinahanap natin kung mayroon bang gumagawa ng mali dito, mayroon bang walang ginagawa dito o mayroon bang nagtutulug-tulugan at hindi kasama si Secretary. Bautista sa mga taong ‘yan,” he added.
(So it would be unfair if he will be included in this hearing, since this hearing aims to find who is at fault, or who is sleeping on the job, and the Secretary is not part of that.)
However, Anakalusugan party-list Rep. Mike Defensor said that Bautista should have been invited to the hearing since there is still the issue of command responsibility.
“While we are looking into problem in the regions, head office eh, sana makita rin ni Secretary Bautista itong mga problemang ito (We hope that the Secretary can also see these problems),” he said during the hearing.
The House panels on good government and public accountability are investigating the delay in the distribution of cash aid, which were meant to soften the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on low-income Filipinos.
The probe was initiated through a House resolution, which is co-authored by no less than Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano.
Cayetano earlier revealed that at least four regional directors of the DSWD are “guilty” in the delay of cash aid distribution under their areas.
Among the general complaints of the public with the SAP implementation, Cayetano said, are the following:
– Too much requirements, tedious processes
-Insensitive to vulnerable sectors such as persons with disabilities and seniors
-High risk of contracting COVID-19
-Duplication of beneficiaries
-Complaints posted in social media or covered by mainstream media
-Confusion among local government units and barangays
-Lack or breakdown of communication
He said those who will be found guilty of delaying the cash aid will be made accountable.
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