De Lima urges gov’t to fast track ayuda distribution amid increase in prices of basic commodities

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Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima urged the government to expedite the release of the still undistributed P500 subsidy or ayuda to poor Filipino families for three months amid the series of oil price hikes affecting the costs of basic commodities.

            De Lima, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Social Justice, Welfare and Rural Development, said the government must step up its game in providing assistance to the poor families in need of support.

            “It is disappointing how, despite roughly three months since Mr. Duterte ordered the release of ayuda for poor household affected by the oil price hikes, the struggling families have not yet received the promised additional support from the government.

“Marami sa mga pamilyang ito ang hindi pa nakaka-recover mula sa epekto ng pandemya, ay lalo pang pinabigat ang mga pasanin ng tuloy-tuloy at nakakalulang pagtaas sa presyo ng produktong petrolyo at iba pang pangunahing bilihin,” she said.

“It is during these times that government is expected to act with urgency and ensure that the additional cash subsidy would swiftly reach the affected people. Maganda ang intensyon ng pangakong pagtulong, pero kung magagaya lang ito sa mga pangakong hindi matutupad at lubhang matagal ang pag-usad, tumatagal din ang kalbaryo ng mga kababayan nating mas nangangailangan,” she added.

It may be recalled that in March, Duterte ordered the release of an additional P500 monthly subsidy for three months to cushion the impact of increasing prices of basic commodities, especially to poor families.

To date, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has yet to begin the distribution of the said cash subsidy, with DSWD Spokesperson Irene Dumlao saying that the delay was due to proper documentation procedures.

Dumlao, however, ensured that the distribution will start before Duterte steps down from office on June 30.

The lady Senator Bicol said that the government must not shirk in its mandate to help improve the plight of its people.

“The people need their government, especially during these trying times when there’s no room for lethargy,” she said. (30)

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