Bong Go appeals to NGAs, LGUs to immediately provide SAP aid to barangay tanods, health workers

Published April 18, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Mario Casayuran

Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go appealed today to national government agencies (NGAs) and local government units (LGUs) to immediately provide assistance to barangay tanods (village security chiefs), healthcare workers (BHWs), and daycare workers, and consider them among the beneficiaries of the government’s social amelioration program (SAP) amid the COVID-19 health emergency, after the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) deemed them eligible for such benefits.

enator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go (FACEBOOK /MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)
Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go (FACEBOOK /MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

“Marami po sa mga barangay workers na ito ay sub-minimum wage earners, kaya naman dapat lamang po silang maisama sa mga mabibigyan ng tulong ng DSWD. Malaki rin po ang kanilang papel bilang frontliners ng ating mga barangay, lalo na sa kasalukuyang emergency na dinaranas ng bansa dulot ng COVID-19,” Go said.

(Most of these barangay workers are sub-minimum wage earners and they deserve to receive assistance from the DSWD. Their roles as frontliners in our barangay are important, especially in the current emergency in the country due to COVID-19.)

The DSWD recently included barangay tanods, healthcare workers, and daycare workers in the list of sectors eligible to benefit from the government’s social amelioration program during the COVID-19 health emergency in response to an earlier call by the Davao senator.

In a memorandum released by the agency on Friday (April 16), DSWD adopted the recommendation of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to include the above-mentioned barangay functionaries as target beneficiaries of the program.

According to the recommendation, barangay tanods and health care and daycare workers should not be outrightly disqualified from the assistance since they belong to the vulnerable and disadvantaged sectors as sub-minimum wage earners.

‘Sub-minimum wage earners,’ by definition, refers to those who earn a wage below the prescribed minimum and are the sole income earners of their respective families.

DILG and DSWD noted that “the so-called heavy-lifting job for the immediate response to the pandemic has been delegated to (barangay health workers) and tanods as the frontliners in all communities.”

“Umaapela rin ako sa DSWD at LGUs na isama nila agad sa mga makakatanggap ng ayuda ang mga qualified na barangay tanod, BHWs, at daycare workers na nangangailangan rin ng tulong habang ginagampanan nila ang kanilang tungkulin sa kanilang mga komunidad,’’ he said.

(I am appealing to the DSWD and local government units (LGUs) to immediately include among those who will receive government benefits the qualified barangay tanods, BHWs, and daycare workers who also need help while they are fulfilling their duties in their communities.)

Around 18 million low-income families and those in vulnerable sectors are targeted to receive monthly cash subsidies of an amount between P5,000 to P8,000, depending on regional wage rates, for two months as mandated by Republic Act No. 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.

According to the DSWD, the government has released more than P60 billion to 1,228 LGUs, which are in charge of the distribution of the cash assistance.

Meanwhile, around P67.5 million has also been spent by the DSWD for COVID-19 related concerns, including medical and burial assistance, and food packs to families.

Go earlier called on concerned national government agencies and LGUs to work together to resolve issues on conflicting lists of beneficiaries and improve the distribution system for the government’s social amelioration program.

“I am appealing to all concerned agencies and LGUs that they should aim to perfect the distribution system of food and cash assistance as the government continues to address the COVID-19 situation,” Go said.

Go also enjoined all sectors of society, public and private, to unite in ensuring that the needs of the Filipino family are satisfied during the global pandemic.

“Let us work together to fill in the gaps as the needs of Filipino families affected by the COVID-19 crisis continue to grow,” he said.