Senate President Vicente Sotto III asked the local government officials to shoulder the expenses of the financial aid for their constituents that not covered by the Social Amelioration Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
In an interview with DZMM, Sotto said that LGUs might shoulder the expenses while the government was having a problem in distributing the funds for financial aid.
Sotto made the said suggestion when asked about the possible solution on the distribution problem of funds to the LGUs who didn’t match their records of eligible constituents for the social amelioration package to DSWD.
“Ngayon, sa baba naman, tutal delayed ng kung palagay mo may delay, saka sinasabi mo nga, hindi nagtutugma, karamihan naman ng mga LGU kakayanin. Abonohan mo muna, makakasingil ka naman sa gobyerno. Ito pa nga, sinasabi nga natin na pati sa SMEs meron tayong ibibigay, eh di lalo na sa inyong mga LGUs, yung loan portfolio namin available, di ba? Abonohan mo muna, pagalingan din naman ng local officials ito dahil kung magaling kang magremedyo, makikita ng mga kababayan mo yan,” Sotto said.
According to Sotto, the LGUs should not worry about the expenses as the government has sufficient funds to help the Filipinos affected by the global pandemic.
The Senate President said that if required, they’re going to do anything to ensure that DSWD is going to pay the money shouldered by the LGU officials.
He said that the distribution of cash aid should hasten as many Filipinos already needed the money.
“Pakiusap naman natin din habang ginagawa namin yang sinabi mong yan, pakiusap naman natin sa mga local officials abonohan ninyo yung kulang at saka natin singilin yung DSWD katulong ninyo kami na maniningil diyan at kung ano ang pondong kailangan, kung kailangan kaming gumawang batas para diyan, gagawin namin,” Sotto said.
“Abonohan ninyo muna. Pag sinabing hindi, wala, ito lang ang calamity fund namin, inalis na nga namin yung cap, doon sa Bayanihan Act, wala na ngang cap sa mga calamity fund, gamitin ninyo lang kahit anong pondo muna, di ba? Boss, ang usapan dito, buhay muna, saka na yung pera, saka na yung gobyerno. Hindi maibabalik yung buhay, pero yung pera, maibabalik yan, kikitain ng gobyerno yan,” he added.
Sotto said that the government may also cancel some of its infrastructure projects if required to help the people.
Under the Bayanihan Law, 18 million families will receive a monthly financial/food aid worth P5,000 to P8,000 depending on the beneficiary’s location.
The government is also studying the possibility to include the middle-class families affected by the quarantine in the social amelioration program.