Former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV made unsolicited advice to the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on how the government may implement the social amelioration program to solve several issues.
In a lengthy Facebook post, Trillanes explained that the ‘per family’ distribution of assistance resulted in several problems, citing that the aid received by some beneficiaries are not enough to sustain their needs.
He also mentioned an issue that the LGUs are being forced to select the beneficiaries as the funds being given to them by the government for the social amelioration.
Trillanes explained that to solve those problems, he suggested that the social amelioration package should be given individually instead of family.
The former Senator cited that “SAF should instead be given to all individual Filipino citizens at 2.5k each”, except for the following:
1. All government employees (and spouse).
2. All private-sector employees (and spouse) who are still receiving salaries.
3. All current recipients (and spouse) of different government financial assistance programs (such as 4Ps, TUPAD, etc.).
4. All owners of registered businesses (and spouse).
5. All minors aged 17 yrs and below. They are presumed to be living with either qualified beneficiaries or exempted individuals as stated in #1 to 4 above.
He believes that giving it individually would hasten the process of distributing the aid.
“Based on cursory calculations, if we take out the exemptions, there would be a maximum of about 40M individual beneficiaries under this proposal. At 2.5k each, this would amount to 100bn/month, plus the 20bn/month for the 4Ps and other government programs, the amount would be roughly 120bn/month or 240bn for 2 months. The total amount of 240bn for 2 months would still be below the 275bn fund allocation,” Trillanes said.
He also suggested that barangay halls should be designated as the distribution center for social amelioration.
“At the designated time/day, the beneficiary would proceed to the nearest barangay hall and present any valid ID to the barangay official. The beneficiary need not have the same barangay indicated in the ID since he/she may have decided to spend the quarantine period in the province or another place before the lockdown or is an OFW who just got home, etc. This is convenient for our beneficiaries since the prohibition of PUVs would have made it impossible for them to go back to their original barangays. (Remember, the distribution is done by the national government for all its qualified citizens. The barangay centers are merely being used as distribution centers, so the political boundaries are irrelevant.) The beneficiary may also be reminded that criminal charges may be filed if they are found later on to be among those exempted from receiving the funds,” Trillanes explained.
Trillanes admitted that his proposal is not “perfect or complete” but it might help the LGUs from being forced to select their beneficiaries.
Some Mayors complained that the ‘quota system’ for cash aid being sent by the national government was based on the data that was taken five years ago.
Sen. Win Gatchalian, a former mayor and representative of Valenzuela, complained about the quota system on his Twitter account.
“In our 2015 census, Valenzuela has 155,00 families. I just learned that DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) will give the P8,000 to only 95,000 families in Valenzuela. What will happen to the remaining 60,000 families? What are the qualifications to be included in the 95,000 quota?” Gatchalian said.