MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte announced Wednesday that he has delegated the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), as well as Presidential Peace Adviser and Chief Implementer of government’s national policy against Covid-19, to lead the relief efforts to individuals suffering due to the health crisis.
He made the pronouncement, as he acknowledged that there are complaints about the supposed unfair distribution of relief by some local government units.
“Ngayon, DSWD na. At ‘yung pera, DSWD pati si Secretary Galvez (From now on, it will be the DSWD. The DSWD and Secretary Galvez are now tasked to lead the distribution),” Duterte said in his address to the nation aired on state-run PTV-4 late Wednesday night.
Duterte imposed an enhanced community quarantine on the island of Luzon until April 12 in an effort to stop the further transmission of Covid-19 in the country.
He also pledged to give monthly emergency subsidy for 18 million poor households affected by the health crisis.
Duterte said he already stripped local officials of their role to provide assistance to their constituents.
“Ngayon, tinanggal ko sa politiko kasi maraming reklamo. Tinanggal ko sa politiko ‘yung distribution ng pera pati ang bigas na pagkain (Now, I no longer allow politicians to lead the distribution following complaints. They can no longer distribute money and food),” he said.
He maintained that he would not allow abuse of power by any government officials amid efforts to fight Covid-19.
“So we are trying to manage na lahat magkaroon (that all will receive the assistance) equally… Kami na sa gobyerno ang mag-distribute to determine how much (The government will determine how much assistance you will need). Do not entertain doubts about dishonesty and corruption. Hindi panahon na iyan ngayon (It will not happen now). Not this time,” Duterte said.
The national government would grant a monthly emergency subsidy to 18 million poor families from April to May.
All low-income households will get assistance either in cash or in-kind from various social amelioration packages under the emergency subsidy program.
Beneficiaries from Metro Manila will get PHP8,000 each, while those from Central Luzon and Calabarzon will get PHP6,500 each.
The government will also give PHP6,000 subsidy to each poor family from Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Northern Mindanao, and Davao Region, and PHP5,000 to each beneficiary from the Cordillera Administrative Region, Ilocos Region, and Cagayan Valley.
A subsidy worth PHP5,000 will be distributed to each low-income household from Mimaropa, Bicol Region, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Soccsksargen, Caraga, and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. (PNA)