MANILA

DILG to prioritize assistance for poor families

THE Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said on Thursday, March 26, that they will prioritize assistance to the poor and indigent families but assured that those who can afford will not be neglected.

“The Department of the Interior and Local Government strongly condemns the attempt by certain sectors to misrepresent, misquote or otherwise place out of context the statements of Secretary Eduardo M. Año and myself about government’s assistance to the people during this time of national calamity,” DILG Undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said in a statement.

“The DILG never said that ‘residents of private subdivisions are in no need of government help.’ We also never said ‘Those who live in subdivisions do not deserve government help’ or words to that effect,” he added.

He made the statement after they were slammed by some sectors for saying that those living in subdivisions and gated communities or the government workers who were paid despite not going to work should no longer expect any help from their local governments.

There have also been reports that families living in subdivisions have not received relief goods.

Malaya explained that the government has limited capacity and resources and their priority are the 18 million poor and indigent families who are mostly daily wage earners, no work no pay workers, and are in dire need of government assistance.

Malaya said the families in the formal economy will receive assistance aside from food packs such as credit facilities and reduced lending rates; reprieve in the payment of national and local taxes, fees and other charges required by law to ease the burden of families and individuals; 30-day grace period for the payment of all loans (including salary, personal, housing and motor vehicle loans) including credit card payments without incurring penalties, fees and charges; and a 30-day grace period in the payment of residential rent, without incurring interests, penalties and fees.

He said the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) Covid Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) will provide cash subsidy to workers in the formal economy who are affected by the crisis, while the TUPAD program, will provide temporary employment for displaced workers.

Most employers, responding to the government’s call, have also rolled out assistance for their employees through the early release of the 13th month pay or bonuses.

Under a new law, President Rodrigo Duterte has control over P275 billion under the 2020 budget to finance the government’s social amelioration program for the next two months.

Meanwhile, in another interview, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said the DILG, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Trade and Industry, DOLE, Department of Budget Management and Department of Health will be signing a memorandum to set the guidelines for the distribution of cash assistance which will be led by the local government units.

“Importante dyan yung tinatawag natin na social amelioration fund kung saan mag fill-up lahat ng head of the families at from there ito yung magiging basis natin kung sino ‘yung mga tatanggap,” he said.

“Ang mga bibigyan natin ditto ‘yung mga tinatawag natin na belonging to the informal economy sector plus ‘yung mga indigent families. Ito ‘yung mga tao na no work no pay, contractual, ‘yung mga nagtitinda ng sampaguita, tricycle drivers,” he added.

He said LGUs will be downloading, printing and distributing the forms which will be available online after the signing of the memorandum. (SunStar Philippines)


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