FORMER Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano said the government must learn to trust the people as he renewed his call for the creation of a “hunger hotline” that would provide the public, especially the “poorest of the poor,” with instant relief during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila.
“Finite number naman ‘tong nangangailangan ng gamot at pagkain. Hindi ba dapat may hotline?” Cayetano said during a press conference i Taguig City on August 11. “Kasi sa ngayon, hindi pa rin talaga malaman ng tao kung saan pupunta,” he added.
Cayetano said while he understands that some officials may be hesitant to create a hotline because it is an easy target for scammers, the government must start “trusting its own people.”
He said the government can also come up with a verification system that would confirm the identities of the beneficiaries.
Cayetano said the proposal would provide instant relief to the public as phones and gadgets are more accessible now.
“I think that kind of malasakit, we owe our people,” he said.
Cayetano said he talked to a number of beneficiaries of the Sampung Libong Pag-asa program and learned that most of them are not able to eat three times a day because of lack of government assistance.
“Ganun na ba ka-harsh ang ating gobyerno na kailangan hanapin mo yung kapitan, konsehal, congressman, mayor, at ‘pag sagad na ang tulong sa’yo ng mga y’un, gutom ka na lang?” he said.
He said while he is certain the local government officials are providing as much help as possible, the national government must become more proactive as it has more resources to provide the people with the relief they need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The national government has the resources. May DSWD naman sa lahat (Every region has their respective social welfare and development department),” he said.