President Rodrigo Duterte tasked the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to lead the distribution of relief assistance to poor households to prevent local officials from using the program for political ends, a Malacañang official said Thursday.
“Hindi po papayag si Pangulo na haluan po ito ng pulitika, gamitan ito ng patronage politics at hindi siya papayag na may palakasan dito sa mga pulitiko na mangyayari,” Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said in a virtual press conference.
In a televised message on Wednesday, Duterte accused some local officials of abusing the release of assistance to the people amid the Luzon-wide quarantine to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
He then announced that the DSWD will spearhead the relief efforts along with Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito Galvez Jr., the chief implementer of the national policy against COVID-19.
Local government units will be limited to assistance in the distribution of cash subsidies, with LGU personnel managed by the Department of the Interior and Local Government, police and military, according to Nograles.
Around 18 million low-income households will be targeted to receive monthly emergency subsidies amounting to P5,000 to P8,000 for two months as mandated by the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act (Republic Act 11469).
DSWD Director Irene Dumlao said on Tuesday the department has started distributing social amelioration card forms which will be used as basis for providing aid to the families who would benefit from the emergency subsidy program.
“Gagawin po ng gobyerno na agarang maipaabot ang tulong sa inyo,” Nograles said. --KBK, GMA News