Duterte: National ID system would have made distribution of quarantine aid much faster

Published April 13, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Genalyn Kabiling

The government could have hastened the distribution of financial aid to families affected by the coronavirus lockdown if there was a national identification system in place, President Duterte said Monday.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte holds a meeting with some members of the  Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang on April 13, 2020. (KARL NORMAN ALONZO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO/MANILA BULLETIN)
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte holds a meeting with some members of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang on April 13, 2020. (KARL NORMAN ALONZO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO/MANILA BULLETIN)

Unfortunately, the national ID program has not been fully implemented due to the opposition raised by leftist groups, according to the President.

“Nagkakaroon tayo ng problema. Hindi ito perfect kaagad, especially so na noon pa sinabi namin ‘yung national ID makatulong,” he said in his late night public address.
(We have a problem. It is not perfect, especially so we have long pushed for the national ID because we said it would be of help.)

“Ang problema nito, ang proponent na ayaw or the proponents of the ‘don’t,’ itong mga left. Kaya kita mo ngayon, wala tayong ID system until now,” he said.
(The problem is, the proponents of the ‘don’ts’ are the left. So you can see, we still have no ID system until now.)

If people had national IDs, Duterte said the government could have avoided the problems arising from the distribution of the emergency subsidy program for low-income families. He said government could have simply checked the national IDs of the target beneficiaries of the program.

“Kung may ID system lang tayo we could have na — naiwasan natin itong mga ‘to,” he said.
(If we had an ID system, we could have avoided these things.)

“Because all we have to do — ang kailangan lang namin tanungin namin ‘yung DILG, ilang tao ‘yung barangay na ‘yan, then — ipadala namin ‘yung pagkain, at kunin na lang ninyo doon sa tindahan ninyo or the disposal point wherever it is, ipakita mo ‘yung card mo, ibigay sa iyo.”

(Because all we have to do is, we would just ask the Department of the Interior and Local Government [DILG] how many people live in that barangay. Then we will send the food and you will get it from the store or the disposal point, wherever it is. Just show your card, and they will give it to you.)

He said people should not blame the government if they are not on the list of beneficiaries prepared by the barangay and the DILG. He said they probably refused to be on the list or were living in another barangay when the census takers came to their homes.

“Kung wala kayo sa listahan, then hindi kayo mabigyan,” he said. (If you’re not on the list, then you won’t be given any.)

“Hindi na kasalanan ‘yan — huwag kayong magturo sa gobyerno, kasi ginawa namin ang lahat noon pa, kaya gusto nga namin may ID. Eh naniwala naman kayo sa mga left, mga komunista, eh ‘di sige. Doon kayo maniwala, may eleksyon na dadating. Doon kayo, kasi mahaba pa ‘to.”

(Don’t blame the government because we did everything long before. We wanted the IDs but you believed the left, the communists, so go ahead. Go and believe in them, there’s an election coming. Go to them, because this is going to last a long time.)

The President, however, assured the nation that he would not allow any Filipino to die from hunger. He said measures are being taken to improve the distribution of the subsidy to the intended beneficiaries.

“Inaayos namin ‘yan. Gusto ko lahat mabigyan. Ayaw kong may mamatay ni isang Pilipino na gutom,” he said.
(We are fixing it. I want to everyone to be given aid. I don’t want any Filipino to die from hunger.)

He reminded local government officials, including barangay captains, to ensure that the target beneficiaries will be given aid.

“Ang dapat diyan barangay captain, because that is your duty, inyong duty ‘yan, and the mayors, to determine sino ‘yang hindi nasali sa listahan at mabigyan kaagad,” he said.

(The one who should take care of that is the barangay captain, because that is your duty, and that of the mayors, to determine who weren’t included in the list, and to give them aid right away.)

The government has launched the P200-billion emergency subsidy program for 18 million low-income families to help them cope with the strict quarantine measures implemented due the coronavirus pandemic.

For the months of April and May, the Department of Social Welfare and Development has been assigned to distribute subsidies of between P5,000 and P8,000 to the target beneficiaries with the help of local government units.

Problems with the list of beneficiaries and logistical challenges, however, have delayed the implementation of the social amelioration program of the national government.

In August 2018, President Duterte signed into law the national ID system that will harmonize and integrate several government IDs. It aims to encourage good governance, enhance governmental transactions, and promote a better environment for trade and commerce.

The government launched the pilot testing of PhilSys in select areas in the country to register a substantial number of Filipinos. The program has reportedly been halted due to the Luzon-wide quarantine.