Lacson: Wage earners getting hungry, but where’s the cash subsidy?


By: Neil Arwin Mercado - March 30,2020 - 06:17 PM

MANILA, Philippines — The government should already be distributing the emergency subsidy for some 18 million households amid the coronavirus pandemic, Senator Panfilo Lacson said Monday.

Under Republic Act No. 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act which President Rodrigo Duterte recently signed into law, some 18 million households are entitled to get an emergency subsidy from a minimum of P5,000 to a maximum of P8,000 for two months computed based on the prevailing regional minimum wage rate.

Section 9 of the said measure shall take effect “immediately upon its publication in a newspaper of general circulation or in the Official Gazette.”

But Lacson said that the measure was signed by Duterte on March 24 and was published on March 25.

“It’s now [March] 30. By now, those in charge of its implementation particularly the distribution of cash dole-outs to the 18 [million] plus families should already be taking place,” Lacson said in a message to reporters.

Lacson also cited reports that “families, especially the daily wage earners are going hungry already.”

“In Isabela province, for example, there are reports that some people are eating corn fungus to stave off hunger,” Lacson said.

“If the executive does not act with dispatch, we may have a serious social problem to face. As the old adage says, ‘a hungry stomach knows no law’,” the senator added.

Lacson also emphasized his call to those tasked with the distribution of the subsidy through an adage: “Aanhin pa ang damo, kung patay na ang kabayo.”

( Of what use is the grass to a horse already dead.)

“At this time when daily wage earners must have exhausted whatever limited savings and personal loans they subsist on, every meal missed by their children means desperation,” Lacson said.

“We know what desperation can drive a head of the family to do when he sees his family starving,” he added.

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TAGS: 18 million households, COVID-19, emergency subsidy, families, going hungry, minimum wage rate, pandemic

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