Dispatch from Crame No. 980: Sen. Leila M. de Lima on Senators Urging the DSWD to Fast-Track the Release of Available Funds for Marginalized Sectors affected by the Typhoons and Pandemic

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During last Monday’s session, many of my colleagues at the Senate expressed a sentiment similar to what I have consistently been calling out early on at the onset of this pandemic: the Duterte administration’s underspending nightmare.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I am once again urging the national government to fund welfare services and social protection programs. In all my comments to the President’s reports under Bayanihan 1 and Bayanihan 2, I have been consistent about this call.

Hindi ito ang panahon ng pagdadamot at maling pagtitipid. Panahon ito ng paglalaan ng pondo at serbisyo para sa mga kababayan nating lubhang nangangailangan. Pondo at serbisyong sapat, nararapat at kagyat.

So, why, all this time, is the DSWD still being complacent and sluggish—almost criminally negligent!—in distributing the needed assistance to our poor households and the disadvantaged sectors and groups—4Ps beneficiaries, senior citizens, PWDs, farmers and fisherfolk, and the many who are unemployed?

The situation is so dire that the Senate has unanimously moved to adopt a resolution urging the DSWD to fast-track the release of available funds in aid of victims in calamity-stricken areas and the workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Walang sinisino ang mga kalamimad at ang pandemyang ito. Ngunit ang pinaka-apektado at lupaypay ay ang mga mahihirap at bulnerable nating mga kababayan. Patuloy bang pagkakaitan ng gobyernong ito ang mga nangangailangan ng pag-asa at oportunidad sa pagbangon? Give our people a fighting chance, don’t leave them for dead while Duterte’s minions enjoy chartered flights to and from Davao—if only to brief the once-a-week President of the goings-on in the country he is supposed to be leading.

Ang bawat sentimong hindi nakakarating sa mahihirap, ang bawat minutong tinetengga ito sa kung saang ahensya ng gobyerno, ay utang na dugo, utang na pag-asa, utang na buhay sa ating mga kababayan. Pananagutin kayo ng taumbayan. Sisingilin kayo ng kasaysayan.

(Access the handwritten version, here: https://issuu.com/senatorleilam.delima/docs/dispatch_980)

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