The Gabriela Women’s Party is now urging the House Committee on Economic Affairs to utilize the P19-billion budget of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) to fund the proposed measures that seek to provide sufficient cash aid to Filipino families affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
In a letter sent to Aklan 2nd Distict Representative Teoderico Haresco, Jr., chairperson of the House economic affairs panel, Assistant Minority Leader and Gabriela Women’s Party Rep. Arlene Brosas urged Haresco to consider the NTF-ELCAC funds as sources of the bill seeking to grant P10,000 financial assistance to poor families and the proposed third tranche of the government’s economic stimulus package to cover the country’s COVID-19 response.
“The rise of community pantries has deeply underscored the inadequacy of existing government programs to ease the hunger of families, and has likewise emphasized the urgency of immediately approving our P10k ‘ayuda’ bill as well as the economic stimulus bills,” Brosas said in the letter.
“We strongly propose that the P16.44-billion budget currently for the Support to the Barangay Development Program of the NTF-ELCAC, which is under the Local Government Support Fund (LGSF), and around P3 billion in operational expenses of the NTF-ELCAC in various agencies, be considered as among the sources of funding for the provision of P10,000 cash aid for poor and low-income families,” she said.
The party-list representative earlier filed House Bill No. 9089, which seeks the granting of P10,000 cash aid to families affected by the pandemic, crisis and calamities.
The measure is now being consolidated with the Bayanihan 3 bill for approval by the committee.
Brosas explained that P19 billion is enough to provide P10,000 cash aid to 1.9 million families.
“P19 billion is also enough to ensure the operations of 271,000 community pantries for one week, assuming that daily supplies for each pantry are worth P10,000,” she also said.
“We cannot let billions in people’s taxes be wasted in the unrelenting red-tagging spree of the NTF-ELCAC. We hope that this proposal will be reflected in the consolidated version of the Bayanihan 3 bill,” the lawmaker added.