Bong Go

Bong Go: Add’l ayuda funds for ECQ-affected areas in NCR, Laguna and Bataan approved

August 12, 2021 People's Tonight 457 views

SENATOR Christopher “Bong” Go thanked President Rodrigo Duterte for recently approving the grant of P3.783 billion assistance to local government units in the National Capital Region, and the provinces of Laguna and Bataan.

“Malaki ang pasasalamat ko kay Pangulong Duterte sa pag-apruba ng dagdag na tulong pinansyal para sa mga apektadong Pilipino sa LGUs na nasa ECQ ngayon,” said Go.

“Kaya bilisan agad dapat ang pag-distribute. Kailangan ito ng mga mahihirap. Nagmamadali tayo dito. Habulan ito — laban kontra COVID-19 at laban sa kagutuman,” he added.

Go reiterated that government should always provide the necessary social protection to low-income families to mitigate the adverse impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 global health crisis.

“Habang nilalabanan natin ang COVID-19, tulungan rin natin ang ating mga kababayan na labanan ang hirap at gutom. Siguraduhin nating walang maiiwan sa ating muling pagbangon,” he said.

This came after the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases reverted the National Capital Region to the most stringent Enhanced Community Quarantine starting last August 6 until August 20. Laguna and Bataan were also placed under the same ECQ status from August 6-15 and August 8-22, respectively. These were intended to contain the further spread of COVID-19 whose spikes in cases are suspected to be caused by the more contagious Delta variant.

“Hindi natin pababayaan ang mga pinakamahirap na nangangailangan ng pantawid habang naka ECQ sa lugar nila. Sila naman ang apektado dito, ang mga ‘isang kahig, isang tuka’, na talagang walang matakbuhan. Ito ang mga umaasa pong lumabas at magtrabaho araw-araw, sila po ang pinakaapektado dito,” he said.

Upon the approval of the President, the Department of Budget and Management will be augmenting the Local Government Support Fund of LGUs amounting to P2.23 billion while another amount of P1.55 billion from excess revenue certified by the Bureau of Treasury will be released through Unprogrammed Appropriations.

The assistance will be released directly to the concerned LGUs which will be in charge of distributing the same to their qualified beneficiaries. Similar to previous assistance granted to LGUs after the successful appeal of Go, the LGUs will be required to submit their Fund Utilization Reports.

Earlier, Go appealed to the national government to grant financial assistance to the low-income households of the NCR, comprising 80% of the population.

President Duterte approved the said recommendation of DBM and National Economic and Development Authority, amounting to P10.894 billion for affected individuals in Metro Manila. The additional funds shall augment this amount in order to match what was provided in March to these LGUs.

“Binabalanse natin ang lahat lalo na ang pagprotekta sa kalusugan at pag-ahon ng ekonomiya. Palagi nating inuuna ang buhay at kapakanan ng bawat Pilipino upang masigurong walang maiiwan tungo sa ating muling pagbangon bilang isang mas matatag na bansa,” Go assured.

Reiterating his appeal to LGUs tasked to disburse the funds, Go urged concerned authorities to quickly put the necessary mechanisms in place in order to prevent any administrative delay in distributing the financial aid to qualified individuals and households.

“Dahil direktang ida-download ang mga pondo sa mga LGUs sa NCR, Laguna at Bataan, ang apela ko naman sa mga lokal na pamunuan ay siguraduhing maibibigay kaagad ang ayuda sa mga tamang benepisyaryo sa isang maayos, mabilis at ligtas na paraan na walang katiwalian,” he emphasized.

Last March, the Senator had successfully appealed to government to provide assistance to the low-income residents affected by the imposition of ECQ in the National Capital Region, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal.

The national government also provided assistance to the residents of Iloilo province, Iloilo City, Cagayan de Oro City and Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental who had been likewise affected by ECQ restrictions.

“Nagpapatupad ng ECQ sa mga kritikal na lugar upang maagapan ang problema at maiwasan ang lalong pagkalat ng sakit. Kumbaga, nais nating patayin ang sunog bago ito maging ‘out of control’. Pero kasabay nito ay kailangan din nating maagapan ang hirap at maiwasan ang gutom sa ating mga komunidad,” Go said.

As the Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, he acknowledged the need for stricter restrictions to curb the spread of new infections. Go, however, stressed that addressing the issues of hunger and poverty is a vital part of any successful mitigation strategy.

“Huwag nating hayaang may mapapabayaan dito. Importante habang tuloy-tuloy ang pagbabakuna ay ‘wag tayo magpaka-kumpiyansa. Ulitin ko, ‘wag nating sayangin ang momentum ngayon ng ongoing vaccine rollout at sa pagbalanse ng kalusugan at ekonomiya,” stressed Go.

“Pakiusap po, sumunod po tayo sa mga patakaran at magpabakuna na bago maging huli ang lahat. Ang inyong disiplina at kooperasyon ay makakapagligtas ng buhay ng kapwa nating Pilipino. Konting sakripisyo ito katumbas ang mga buhay na mapoproteksyunan natin,” he added.

Go assured that the government is prepared to overcome these challenges as long as Filipinos cooperate and remain united towards the collective goal of protecting lives.

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