By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN
House Deputy Minority Floor Leader Carlos Zarate said the “quite lengthy” weekly report of President Rodrigo Duterte over government’s response in the COVID-19 crisis “is hardly felt on the ground” since the enhanced community quarantine has been implemented.
According to Zarate, the government’s economic and medical relief “is hardly felt on the ground three weeks into the community quarantine imposed by authorities.”
“They said that they already released relief goods to some areas but they did not even list down the baranggays these were distributed to nor how many families were its beneficiaries per barangay,” said Zarate.
Zarate stressed the same issue can be said for the P8,000 TUPAD program of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
Zarate also strongly noted the very minimal relief provided to affected residents, three weeks into the quarantine period.
“As mentioned in the report, food and non-food Items distributed by DSWD (Department of Socila Welfare and Development) only totaled 4753. Worse, for a population of 12 million residents, more or less, DSWD-NCR only delivered to 17 LGUs a total 67,150 food packs,” Zarate stressed.
He added that food products from the provinces are still being hindered by checkpoints and there is a looming food crisis because of rice liberalization and the country’s dependence on rice imports.
“In this critical juncture of the crisis, the government’s continued delay, even failings, to bring the much needed help and solution to the most vulnerable sectors and communities will be cathasthropic to our country and people,” Zarate warned.