Gwen: Prioritize ‘poor and helpless’ in aid distribution during ‘lockdown’

By: Rosalie Abatayo - Reporter/CDN Digital | March 27,2020 - 05:09 PM
Cebu Governor Gwendolyn "Gwen" Garcia clarifies that the poor and the helpless will be the priority in the assistance that the government will provide during the lockdown. | Morexette Marie B. Erram

Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia clarifies that the poor and the helpless will be the priority in the assistance that the government will provide during the lockdown. | Morexette Marie B. Erram

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The “poor and the helpless” would be the priority of food packs and assistance that the local government units in Cebu province would extend amid the span of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

This was the instruction of Governor Gwendolyn Garcia to the local chief executives whom she met with at the Capitol on Thursday, March 24, to discuss the protocols in the implementation of the ECQ.

“I realized that there is this misimpression nga abi nilag i-lockdown sila ang gobyerno nay mopakaon nila bisan pag unsa sila kadato,” Garcia said.

(I realized that there is this misimpression that if the lockdown will be implemented, the government will be the ones to feed them even if they are rich.)

Read more: Cebu now under ‘enhanced community quarantine’

Garcia said she already told the mayors to focus their resources in helping those that “really needed help.”

Kung mohatag ka og 5 ka kilong bugas alang aning pamilyaha kay wa na gyuy trabaho, di sad na mahimo nga mo-demanda pod si Donya Kurdapya nga namungingi ang ariyos, puno og mga jewelry, labihang datua unya mo-demanda pod siya sa iyang 5 ka kilo,” Garcia said.

(If you give five kilos of rice to a poor family that has lost their source of income, a madam who is covered by pieces of jewelry and is very rich cannot demand to be given the same five kilos of rice, too.)

While the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) had already committed to give food packs to families in Cebu province that are affected by the ECQ, Garcia said the goods would have to be equitably distributed to the towns based on their population.

Garcia also committed to give financial aid to the LGUs based on their population and income class.

For first to third income class cities, the province will extend P50 per capita to the LGUs. A financial assistance equivalent to P100 per person will also be given to 4th and 5th class cities.

First class municipalities will also receive P100 per capita; P150 per capita for second and third class towns; and P200 for fourth and fifth class towns.

“Motabang ang probinysa. Ang mga LGUs dili pareha og pagkabutang. Ang mga syudad, mas dagko og IRA (Internal Revenue Allotment), mas dagko og calamity fund,” Garcia said.

(The province will extend assistance but the LGUs are not of the same footing here. The cities have bigger IRA hence, they also have bigger calamity funds.)

But even with the financial assistance and the help from DSWD, Garcia said the mayors should distribute their resources to those who would be in grave need of them as this would never be enough if they would target to “feed the entire population.”

“You correct that wrong notion nga if you are on lockdown, even if you are a señorito or señorita, a donya or a don, the government must still give you and that you are entitled for help when you can help yourself,” Garcia said./dbs

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TAGS: aid distribution, Garcia, Gwen, lockdown, poor and helpless

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