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Duterte admin, not LGUs, to blame for slow COVID-19 aid –Bayan Muna

Bayan Muna party-list on Thursday claimed that the Duterte administration has unfairly set up local government units to be eventually blamed for the supposedly slow response of the national government on the COVID-19 emergency.

"It seems that the Duterte administration is unfairly placing the already overwhelmed local government units to be blamed with the current slow and inadequate efforts to stop the COVID-19 pandemic," Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate said in a statement.

He said it was the national government who committed the blunder when it did not make decisive acts when the first cases of COVID-19 in the country were detected.

"They wasted a month in dilly dallying and now it is the LGUs who are earning the ire of the populace due to the slow or none delivery of relief goods and favoritism," he said.

Zarate called on the national government to fast track the delivery of assistance to poor Filipinos, as they received reports that barangays like in Manila, Quezon City, Mandaluyong, Rizal, Tacloban, Gen. Santos City and several other areas in Mindanao that quarantined residents have yet to receive relief goods.

"The P8,000 cash aid should now be distributed because with the absence of relief goods then at least they can use this to buy food and other basic necessities," he said.

For his part, Bayan Muna chairman Neri Colmenares slammed Duterte for passing the responsibility onto local government units without giving them enough funds to address the COVID-19 emergency.

"Sa ginawang ito ng Malacañang, mas masisisi dito ng mga tao ang lokal at hindi si Duterte," he saild.

"Mahigit P200 bilyon ang naipasa sa Kongreso para labanan ang COVID-19, napakalaking pera nito at dapat ay gamitin na agad para sa mamamayan at huwag ibulsa ng mga opisyal," he added.

In a briefing aired past Thursday midnight, Social Welfare Secretary Rolando Bautista said the lack of adequate information from LGUs regarding their constituents slowed down the distribution of financial aid under the national government's social amelioration program.

"Siguro ang ine-expect po namin noon na ang LGU ay they have the profile, the names, the work, and other livelihood activities ng kanilang mga nasasakupan," he said.

"Dahil po hindi rin nila masyadong kabisado o sabihin din nating may kakulangan sa mga listahan na 'yun, dito na rin po nagkaroon ng problema," he added.—AOL, GMA News