Senior citizens, PWDs expose themselves to COVD infection just to get cash assistance

Published April 8, 2021, 11:44 AM

by Chito Chavez

The apparent lack of planning and coordination on the distribution of assistance to residents in some parts of Metro Manila and four adjacent provinces has forced senior citizens, persons with disabilities (PWD) and individuals with underlying conditions to expose themselves to infection by enduring long queues just to receive the aid on Thursday, April 8.

(ALI VICOY / MANILA BULLETIN)

In Quezon City, this resulted in the harsh criticisms of griping beneficiaries who vented their ire on the barangay officials whom they accused of incompetence.

Barangay councilor Cyrus Yaneza of Barangay Quirino 2-B in Quezon City, could only beg for the public’s understanding in bearing with the temporary inconvenience as the national and local government’s regulations have to be followed in the cash aid distribution.

Yaneza said that he understood the concerns of the public but maintained that the barangays should adhere to the regulations of the national government, specifically the order from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the city government.’

“As far as I know the LGU (local government unit) is the one in charge of the cash aid distribution in case it is directly given to the beneficiaries in their homes. But it will be a welcome development in case the barangays are tasked to do so (aid distribution) in the pandemic,’’ Yaneza exclaimed.

In the April 8 cash aid distribution for poor individuals in the Quirino district in Quezon City, the tail end of the line reached more or less 200 meters, a circumstance that the Filipinos have to ensure just to tide them up during the pandemic.

Jayson San Jose, a recipient of the aid in the area preferred not to line up to get his P1,000 dole-out stressing that getting afflicted with COVID-19 is much costly that may even cause death.

“Sayang din yung P1,000 pero baka magka COVID pa ako dahil sa dami ng tao na hindi natin alam kung may sakit na o wala. Nagsisuguro lang ako (I would want to get the P1,000 but I might get COVID with the number of people who might have the disease. I just want to ensure my safety),’’ San Jose said.

Another female recipient who requested anonymity agreed with San Jose but decided to line-up for the cash aid instead since “dahil walang ,dapa talaga (left with no choice, in dire financial need).

“Wala akong magagawa. Biyuda ako at single parent ako. May mga anak akong dapat pakainin kaya sugod lang kahit delikadong magkasakit (I can do nothing. Being a widow and a single parent, I have children to feed, that is why I have to line-up for the cash aid even at the risk of acquiring the disease (COVID-19),’’ the female reasoned out.

 
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