By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
Senator Grace Poe on Thursday called for the inclusion of stranded transient migrants in the government’s subsidy program under the new “Bayanihan to Heal as One” Act.
Poe issued the appeal following reports that unregistered residents and non-voters are not being given government aid in some barangays (villages) in the country.
The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) already said barangay officials should not be requiring voter IDs in exchange for food packs.
In a statement, Poe said the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Disease handling the novel coronavirus pandemic should “immediately” release guidelines including stranded transient migrants in the list of beneficiaries of the emergency subsidy and commodity assistance.
“The transient migrants are also affected by the enhanced community quarantine. They don’t need to be registered residents or voters to receive aid. This is everyone’s problem so government must help them,” Poe said.
“Further, the law made no qualification as to residence, so transients must be covered wherever they may be stranded,” she added.
Under the Republic Act No. 11469, 18 million low-income households, including the current beneficiaries of the government’s conditional cash transfer program, shall receive a subsidy amounting to P5,000 to P8,000 for two months, depending on the prevailing minimum wage rate in their region.
Additional funds shall also be allocated to the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations, the Quick Response Fund of the local government units
Since the law authorizes the President to realign government funds for COVID-19 response, Poe said, “there will be plenty to go around.”
“In times of crisis, no one should be left behind,” she stressed.