MABALACAT CITY -- A fisherman group called Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) has urged senators and congressmen to donate their 6-month salaries to the patients of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) and to the workers affected by the one-month enhanced community quarantine in Luzon.
In a statement, Pamalakaya appealed to senators and congressmen to contribute their personal salaries to help the workers, farmers and fisherfolk across Luzon.
“A six-month salary of our legislators would not be a huge loss. We call on the patriotism of our legislators to donate their salaries to alleviate the impact of the Luzon-wide lockdown to the families of the patients, affected workers, peasant and other poor sectors whose socio-economic activities were impacted by the enhanced community quarantine,” Fernando Hicap, Pamalakaya National Chairperson said.
Citing the staffing summary document based on the General Appropriations Act 2020 of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), PAMALAKAYA sad that the combined salaries for 334 legislators for 2020 reaches P1.034 billion or P86.2 million monthly.
The lawmakers’ combined salaries for six months may reach to P517 million, according to the group.
The Pamalakaya added that legislators could also mobilize their pork barrel to raise a bigger amount.
The group said there is no need for President Duterte to seek emergency powers in addressing the public health crisis. Pork barrel for this year is at least P16 billion as exposed by Senator Panfilo Lacson.
“There are billions of pesos of pork barrel funds in the congress, senate, and even the presidential pork; it is reasonable to mobilize these funds to provide the day-to-day subsidies and other form of aid to the Filipinos adversely affected by the epidemic,” Hicap, Hicap, a former solon during the 16th Congress, added.
The group stressed that legislators who heed this call will inspire more government officials to donate their salaries.
“Bayanihan has been ongoing from the citizenry level to help those affected by the lockdown; it is just and appropriate for government officials to carry out their own version to concretely alleviate the hardships endured by the Filipinos,” said Hicap.