‘Walang kaalam-alam’: Duterte calls out some mayors on disorderly cash aid distribution

President Duterte tasked the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Department of National Defense (DND), and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to handle the cash aid distribution in some areas in Metro Manila because the mayors there “do not know anything.”

President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his regular address to the nation on August 9, 2021. (RTVM Screenshot)

Without identifying the areas and naming the said mayors, the Chief Executive lashed at some local chief executives for not properly distributing the cash aid.

He did not mention which incident he was referring to since the cash aid from the national government for the two-week lockdown will be distributed starting Wednesday, August 11.

READ: Release of 'ayuda' to start on August 11, Metro Manila mayors agree

“Nakita naman ninyo on TV na wala talagang kaalam-alam itong mga mayor na ‘to so tanggalan natin muna itong pamimigay, pagdistribute ng pera pati tulong ng gobyerno (You all saw on TV that these mayors do not know anything, so we will remove the giving out, the distribution of the money and also the help of the government),” he said on Monday, August 9, during a taped public address.

“May isang syudad lang dito na ang tao maghintay lang ng direksyon kung papaano (There is one city here where the people will just wait for the direction how) but I think it is the mayor who has a disorganized mind kaya ganun (that’s why),” Duterte added.

He said that there’s “only one (city) in Metro Manila” wherein he ordered the DILG, DND, and the DSWD to take over the distribution of the cash aid because it lacks “planning and preparation to prevent overcrowding and disorder during the distribution.”

“Pati iyong mga kung anong maitulong ng national government sa local government units na walang alam, na hindi marunong mag-organize ng mga distribution (Including what the national government can do to help the local government units that do not know anything, that do not know how to organize the distribution). It only results to disorder, so tinanggal ko muna ‘yan sa kanila (I removed that from them),” Duterte explained.

“Kayo na muna hanggang matuto sila (You take over until they learn),” he added, addressing the DILG and DSWD.

The national government earlier approved P10.8 billion worth of cash aid for low-income residents badly hit by the two-week enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) from August 6 to 20. Under the ECQ, only authorized and essential personnel will be allowed outside their homes, plunging millions of urban poor into hunger as they cannot go out to work.

READ: P10.8-B 'ayuda' released for ECQ-hit families in NCR; distribution to start Aug. 11

The lockdown was announced following a surge in cases largely believed to be the result of the local transmission of the highly contagious Delta variant, which is also the driver of surges in Indonesia, Thailand, and other Southeast Asian countries.