Go urges DBM to expedite SAP release; assures no politics in distribution

Go urges DBM to expedite SAP release; assures no politics in distribution

By Ernie Reyes

MANILA — Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go urged the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to expedite the release of a new round of amelioration for poor Filipinos particularly those under Enhanced Community Quarantine in NCR, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal.

“Nakikiusap muli ako sa national government na bilisan niyo na ang ayuda. Tulungan natin sa lalong madaling panahon ang ating mga kababayan upang makaraos sila sa hirap, lalo na ‘yung mga naninirahan sa NCR, Rizal, Bulacan, Cavite at Laguna na naka-ECQ,” Go, vice chair of the Senate Committee on Finance said in a statement.

“Kung kaya’t anumang available na pondo na puwedeng gamitin ng gobyerno na pang-ayuda ay ibigay na natin. Ilatag na dapat ng mga ahensya, sa tulong din ng mga LGUs, ang mga mekanismo kung paano ito maipapamahagi sa bawat kuwalipikadong pamamahay o indibidwal sa paraang maayos, mabilis, at walang bahid ng pulitika o korapsyon,” he added.

Go also disclosed during an interview on Monday, March 29, that the Department of Budget and Management has prepped two options for the new special amelioration assistance and shall be presented to the President for approval later today.

Go said that the government is exploring the possibility of distributing per household or per individual.

“Importante po dito, habang kinukulong po natin ang ating mga kababayan ay dapat pong walang magutom, mayro’n po silang makain sa kanilang hapag-kainan dahil po pinilit natin silang manatili sa kanilang bahay, siguraduhin po nating mayro’n tayong maibigay na tulong sa kanila,” Go said.

According to Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado, they are initially targeting an estimated 22.9 million individual beneficiaries which correspond to the 80 percent low income population in “NCR plus” areas affected by the ECQ.

This is based on data provided by the Department of Social Welfare and Development together with the National Economic Development Authority, according to Avisado.

“Dalawang options ang ibinigay ng DBM sa ating mahal na Pangulo. Napagusapan na sa IATF at ang ayuda ay ibibigay directly sa LGUs… Antayin na lang natin ang desisyon ng Pangulo,” said Go.

“Ang importante po dito ay may maibigay po na ayuda, may maibigay na tulong po, lalung-lalo na po sa mga mahihirap nating mga kababayan na talaga pong naghihirap po dahil dito sa Covid-19 na ito,” he added.

Go, earlier issued an appeal to the President, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Budget Secretary Avisado and other concerned agencies to distribute a new round of aid to ease the burden carried by families who have experienced hardships as a result of the pandemic.

“Matagal na akong nananawagan na kung ano pang natitirang pondo na hanapin na para makatulong sa ating mga kababayang mahihirap lalo na ang mga ‘isang kahig, isang tuka’ at wala pong inaasahan kundi magtrabaho po araw-araw,” Go said.

“Tandaan natin na itong mga ito ay meron pong pamilya at mga anak po na pinapakain (at binubuhay),” he added.

During the interview, Go further cited that the government has available funds of around P23 billion that can be used for the assistance. This was later on confirmed by Sec. Avisado in his interview.

“Sa ilalim ng Republic Act 11494 o Bayanihan Act, mayroon pong kapangyarihan ang Pangulo to adopt measures to respond to the crisis brought by COVID-19. Mayroon na pong na-certify ang Bureau of Treasury dati na total of 155 billion pesos. Na-utilize na ang 122 billion pesos. Mayroon silang natitirang 33 billion pesos, out of which 10 billion pesos is set aside for the implementation… ito po yung GUIDE bill,” Go explained and was later on confirmed by Avisado.

“Meaning, mayro’n pa po silang nakitang about P23-B na puwedeng pagkunan po ng pondo for the new Social Amelioration Program. I think ang rekomendasyon nila ay in-kind po ito,” he added.

In an interview on the same day, Secretary Avisado confirmed that preparations have been in place for the distribution of such aid and are awaiting final approval of the President.

Avisado shared that DBM is ready to download the needed funds to local government units once approved by the President. The LGUs, in turn, shall be responsible for distributing the aid to the intended beneficiaries.

Go appealed to Filipinos for patience and cooperation, assuring them that the government is doing everything to ease their burden during these challenging times.

“Sumunod lang tayo sa gobyerno at magmalasakit tayo sa kapwa. I am appealing sa national government na yung ayuda po ay bilisan niyo na po. Huwag niyo na pong tagalan dahil nagaantay po ang ating mga kababayan para dyan… ayaw natin may magutom na kababayan natin so pakiusap lang po — sa lalong madaling panahon ay bigyan natin ng ayuda ang mga mahihirap,” he ended. (AI|MTVN)

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