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COVID-19 WATCH

Go calls for fair aid to poorest of poor

Elmer N. Manuel @tribunephl_lmer

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As the crisis on the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic continues, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go on Wednesday urged the government to immediately take further steps in expediting the release of financial assistance to displaced workers through the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) and vulnerable sectors through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

In a statement, Go stressed the urgency of giving out financial assistance to those who really need them in order for them to survive the ordeal they are facing amid the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

As chairman of the Senate Committee on Health and a member of the Joint Oversight Committee that oversees the implementation of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, Go emphasized that there should be no politics involved in the distribution of aid and that the funds must be allocated fairly and distributed equitably, especially among the poorest of the poor.

The senator stressed that the priority now is to be able to provide immediate healthcare needs to solve the health problem and defeat the virus and, at the same time, to provide cash and food assistance to those who are affected the most by this crisis.

“With the passage of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, bulk of government spending is now allocated to DoH for immediate healthcare needs, DSWD for social assistance especially for affected vulnerable sectors, and DOLE for assistance to displaced workers,” said Go.

Go also noted that the law has already given the necessary authority and flexibility to the government to utilize the funds as deemed necessary to respond and address the growing threats of COVID-19 and the economic impact that comes with it.

President Rodrigo Duterte’s former aide also reminded concerned agencies to fulfill their mandates and act swiftly in this time of crisis to make sure that the assistance from government reaches the poorest of the poor and those who need government attention the most.

Citing the burden placed on Filipinos as they go through the enhanced quarantine measures, Go stressed that it is the responsibility of the government to secure and sustain their needs as their lives grind to a halt.

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