Instead of holding Christmas parties amid a pandemic, Vice President Leni Robredo offers an unsolicited advice to government offices and private companies: Save your money.
Robredo said the Christmas money to be spent for gifts can be used to fund assistance for those affected by the health crisis, especially the poor.
“Wala muna kasi sayang lang sa gastos. Saka wala muna iyong— Huwag na muna sigurong magregaluhan (Maybe we could not spend for those because it’s a waste of money. And we could also not exchange gifts),” she said over dzXL.
“Parang instead na magregaluhan, papunta na lang doon sa… ang regaluhan na lang iyong mga kailangan talagang regaluhan na mga mahihirap (Instead of exchanging gifts, let us just give these gifts to the poor who really need it),” Robredo added.
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has already ordered agencies to tighten their belts and defer non-essential spending to ensure government funds would be enough in its COVID-19 response.
Some local governments in Metro Manila have also cancelled their Christmas parties and instead diverted their funds for celebration to aid those who are still bearing the brunt of the pandemic.
The vice president likewise initiated efforts to save money by deferring many activities of her office for this year.
“Kami din sa office, marami din kaming pinagpaliban muna. Iyong makakahintay pa next year na mga activities, next year na lang, para iyong lahat na mase-save namin ngayon, papunta lahat talaga sa direct na tulong sa mga tao (Even at the office, we have also postponed a lot of activities. We can wait for the activities next year, so everything we can now save will go directly to the assistance for the people),” she said.