Disclaimer: Everything written on this blog is from author’s opinion and experience. This is written by my mother.
We all Filipinos are suffering from this COVID-19 Pandemic for more than 2 years, 2 ½ years to be exact, which started last march 16, 2019 when the national government declared the lockdown in many places. Since then, almost all of us are experiencing poverty and great devastation in our lives.
Many employees lost their jobs as well as many establishments closed. On the first 3 months of lockdown, the national government together with the local government had the capability of assistance distribution, in cash and in kind.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) headed the cash assistance distribution which causes so allegation of corruption. How did I say so? Because here in our barangay, there are several people who got their first tranche of assistance but didn’t get the second one until this writing.
What had happened here is, the first list of beneficiaries got their assistance with an amount of 6,500.00, but because not everyone is listed as beneficiaries, the sanggunian have the heart to those who did not receive so they cut it off in halves and distributed the other half to those who did not receive.
On the other hand, beneficiaries received their second tranche of 6,500.00, so using simple mathematics, beneficiaries just received 9,750.00 in total while non-beneficiaries received 3,250.00. Until one day, news spread in our barangay saying that those non-beneficiaries are having their cash assistance of 13,000.00 as wait-listed.
So, that’s it! They received that mount in cold cash. So, what happened was those first beneficiaries got 16,250.00, it’s unfair, really because they did not turn back the half of what the first beneficiaries gave to them. It was a big issue then for those first beneficiaries but they can do nothing but to accept the fact that the money will never be turned back to them.
Another issue is that as stated by DSWD, all government officials should not be included to the said assistance due to the reason that they had their salaries and allowances even it is pandemic, but here in our barangay, some barangay officials are still listed as the beneficiaries. One more thing is about those who are Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4P’s) beneficiaries, some of them are still one of the beneficiaries of the cash assistance.
Many of the private employees are also able to get the said benefits even if they are SSS and SAP beneficiaries, meaning to say, many people got doubled benefits while others had nothing. You can see in the news and social media all the sentiments of people who did not benefited of the said assistance.
Even the relief goods, I can say that it is not distributed properly, some get many but some didn’t get any. In our barangay, there is a list provided by the sanggunian which was according to them was picked by the municipal government, sometimes, the said list is consist of 200 households even the households here are more than 300, how about those 100+ household that is not listed?
All of us are suffering and all of us are needing help how big or small? There are so many instances here that it happened again and again not only for the cash and kind assistance, but also for the cash for-work project, TUPAD or Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/ Displaced Workers- a community based package of assistance that provides emergency employment for displaced workers, underemployed or seasonal workers, for a minimum period of 10 days, but not to exceed a maximum of 30 days.
Some of the beneficiaries here are those who are 4P’s members and Barangay Councilors instead of those who are most qualified and needy. I sometimes think that some people are greedy, they just want to survive their selves not thinking of other’s welfare.
In this case scenario, it’s very clear that leaders lead us to the wrong way, not all of them, but I can say that most of them bears with the Filipino Culture of PADRINO, KAIBIGAN, KAMAG-ANAK, KAKILALA. Maybe it’s in the culture, yes, but we can make it right.
In this time of pandemic, we should forget that bad culture, we should help each other. Benefits should be given equally to everyone.
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