Senator Ping Lacson
By Junex Doronio
DISMAYED BY THE SCALING DOWN of cash aid beneficiaries, Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson on Thursday assailed the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) headed by a retired military general for not using its P10 billion “savings” for distribution.
The senator — whose slogan “ang mali labanan” — also castigated the DSWD for not having the courtesy of replying to his official letter to DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista on behalf of a beneficiary family who has been following up their SAP subsidy to no avail.
“In actual fact, I sent an official letter to DSWD Sec. Rolando Bautista more than a week ago on behalf of a listed beneficiary family who I do not even know or have met, that has been following up to receive their SAP subsidy but to no avail. Not being arrogant or trying to throw my weight around, I have not even received a ‘yes’ or ‘no ‘response even from a clerk of DSWD,” Lacson said.
During a recent Senate hearing, Bautista revealed that his agency was not able to spend the P10 billion allocated for cash assistance since the number of cash aid beneficiaries was trimmed from 18 million to 14 million.
The senator pointed out that the DSWD should have utilized the P10 billion for distribution, instead of prematurely declaring the same as “savings” after it scaled down the number of cash aid beneficiaries by four million households.
“If this is not failure of planning, preparation, coordination and implementation, I do not know how to describe it,” Lacson lamented.