Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Monday suggested the immediate implementation of the National ID System to fast-track the distribution of cash aids for 18 million poor families affected by the COVID-19 health crisis.
Sotto said that the problem in the database among agencies in charge of the distribution of cash aid is slowing the implementation of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP).
“Problems on the database of amelioration program? Now is the TIME for the govt to execute/enforce the NATIONAL ID SYSTEM!” Sotto said in his message to the media.
The Senate chief said that the law that provides for the National ID System has been enacted for more than a year now, noting that this can help the government in the distribution of cash aids during this time of a health crisis.
“This amelioration program rolls out for two months and might extend to three. The National ID System has been there since over a year ago. Speed up the process or see chaos soon,” he said.
“We must find solutions and I’m suggesting the best solution,” he added.
Sotto also mentioned that he has brought this up with Finance Secretary Sonny Dominguez III, whom he claimed “agreed with (him) 100 percent,” adding that the Finance chief will “follow up” on its implementation with the concerned agencies.
The Department of Finance and the Department of Social Welfare and Development are in charge of the database of the families entitled to the P5,000 to P8,000 cash aid to help them cope with the COVID-19 health crisis.
Senator Panfilo Lacson, who sponsored the bill for the National ID System, affirmed Sotto’s statement emphasizing that this will benefit the Philippines in many other ways aside from the cash aid distribution.
“I couldn’t agree more, Mr. Senate President. We passed it two years ago. They should fast track the implementation, not only because of the COVID-19 but for a lot of many good reasons that will benefit the country,” Lacson tweeted.
On the other hand, Sotto said that President Rodrigo Duterte’s report has addressed “at least all concerns” while some are already in place and are being executed.