Limlingan: ‘Relip’

The advocate

RELIEF-GIVING is not new to many Filipinos especially during the onslaught of typhoons and floods. Many find this normal since people are stranded in their own homes as extreme weather conditions and inundations forbids them from going to work or attending to their businesses, big or small.

Usually, those in the marginalized communities are given relief-goods comprised of some kilos of rice, canned goods, coffee and sugar. In its true essence, relief-giving is like giving first-aid to someone in need during abnormal situations. It is called relief because it is a mere temporary solution to a temporary problem.

Relief-giving or the giving of “relip” is prevalent these days as many workers cannot report to work, render services or sell their products due to Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) now being implemented by the government. In others words, there is no means to earn a living for many.

Since many have no income, the government and some non-governmental organizations are “giving relief” to some communities to address the problem on food supply while the ECQ is in effect. The national government through the Department of Social Welfare and Development is now spearheading the distribution of food packs to those in need.

Local government units are likewise doing the same, doling-out repacked rice, sardines, sugar and other consumable products. Some private organizations or associations are likewise doing the same.

There are time when relief goods are channeled to municipalities or barangay governments. This is where some intrigues and issues set in. Sadly, local government officials, particularly those in the barangay level, are the ones who are given the blame when some communities failed to receive goods or have receive insufficient amount.

While we are on an abnormal situation barangay captains and other barangay officials are in the limelight. There are some reports of them hoarding relief-goods while there are some who are accused of being “choosy” in their recipients. There are also cases of those people who were “politicized”. These are usually the non-supporters of the “kapitan” in the last election that they are skipped or are not given relief goods because of political differences.

Some barangay officials skip the giving of relief goods to the middle up to the wealthy class in their barangays and prioritize those who belong to the “poorest of the poor”. Some of the affluent meanwhile express their ire against barangay officials while saying that they too are residents of the barangay or voters of the “kapitan” that they too deserve to be given “relip”.

Such situation puts some officials in quandary since we really have no standard in giving “relip” and no qualification set as to those who are entitled to such or otherwise. Those who were given “relip” are happy while those who were not are not only sad but also mad to their barangay officials.

In these times, people should set aside such kind of issues. It’s really difficult being a barangay official sometimes.


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