De Lima urges DSWD to speed up release of funds for marginalized after typhoons
MANILA, Philippines—Senator Leila de Lima on Wednesday echoed her previous statements of pushing for the allocation of funds toward welfare and social protection programs, which have been her stand since the passage of the Bayanihan 1 and 2 Acts.
The opposition senator said, given the time the Philippines is in, saving up funds isn’t the right thing to do and the money could be allocated to save the marginalized sector of the society, especially after the onslaught of Super Typhoon Rolly and Typhoon Ulysses that ravaged Luzon and parts of Visayas this month.
She blasted the Department of Social Welfare and Development for what she described as sluggish efforts in helping the beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, persons with disabilities, agriculture workers, and the like.
“So, why, all this time, is the DSWD still being complacent and sluggish—almost criminally negligent!—in distributing the needed assistance to our poor households and the disadvantaged sectors and groups—4Ps beneficiaries, senior citizens, PWDs, farmers and fisherfolk, and the many who are unemployed?” wrote de Lima in a dispatched that was coursed through Camp Crame.
“Hindi ito ang panahon ng pagdadamot at maling pagtitipid. Panahon ito ng paglalaan ng pondo at serbisyo para sa mga kababayan nating lubhang nangangailangan. Pondo at serbisyong sapat, nararapat at kagyat.”
(This isn’t the time to be stingy and wrongful saving. This is the time to allocate those funds and services to our countrymen who are in dire need of help. Honest funding and services are urgently needed.)
Rolly and Ulysses battered the Philippines in a span of a fortnight leveling the province of Catanduanes in Bicol and flooding much of Metro Manila, respectively.
As per the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, Ulysses caused an estimated P4,368,288,066 worth of damage to agriculture and P8,735,461,576.28 to infrastructure.
There are still 32,487 families or 132,252 people living inside 583 evacuation centers.
De Lima said that the typhoons’ effects were too much that the Senate had to unanimously move to adopt a resolution that urged the DSWD to expedite the release of available funds to aid victims in the calamity-stricken areas and workers that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Walang sinisino ang mga kalamimad at ang pandemyang ito. Ngunit ang pinaka-apektado at lupaypay ay ang mga mahihirap at bulnerable nating mga kababayan. Patuloy bang pagkakaitan ng gobyernong ito ang mga nangangailangan ng pag-asa at oportunidad sa pagbangon?” wrote de Lima.
(Calamities and this pandemic spare no one. But those who are most affected are those in the fringes of society, the poor and vulnerable members. Will the government continue to ignore the needs and take away their hope and opportunity for a better life?)
The senator also slammed President Rodrigo Duterte’s allies, who travel to Davao weekly to brief the chief executive on what’s happening in the country—a nation he’s supposed to be leading.
“Give our people a fighting chance, don’t leave them for dead while Duterte’s minions enjoy chartered flights to and from Davao—if only to brief the once-a-week President of the goings-on in the country he is supposed to be leading,” said de Lima.
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