Go pushes for expanded social amelioration program

MANILA – Government agencies must maximize available funds for the proposed new social amelioration program (SAP) as many Filipinos have been reported to experience hunger due to the continuing quarantine restrictions amid the pandemic.

Senator Christopher Lawerence “Bong” Go, in a radio interview on Friday, said he has ongoing talks with Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado for this purpose as he suggested the inclusion of all vulnerable sectors, including those who lost their jobs.

“Ang sabi ko maghanap kayo ng pagkukunan. Kung maaari, walisin n’yo kung ano ang pwedeng walisin (I asked them to look for sources. Find whatever is available),” Go said during the radio interview.

He said the assistance must be provided to those affected by stricter quarantine restrictions, such as in the “NCR Plus” bubble.

“‘Yung mga hindi nagagamit na pondo ay gamitin n’yo na lang po sa mga kababayan nating naghihirap. Kinukulong natin sila para hindi magkahawahan. Halos kalahati lang nakakapagtrabaho at maraming nawalan ng kabuhayan (Let’s give the unused funds to our struggling citizens. We ask them to stay at home so they won’t be infected. Maybe only half could work and many have lost their livelihood),” Go lamented.

“Dapat mabigyan ng ayuda ‘yung mga mahihirap talaga na nasa NCR Plus na mga lugar kung saan mas istrikto ang mga patakaran dahil sa pagtaas ng bilang ng mga nagkakasakit doon (Let’s support the poor sectors in NCR Plus and areas with stricter restrictions where many are getting sick.).”

He also reminded concerned agencies to avoid the issues they experienced during the initial SAP distribution last year.

Go said the SAP system must be perfected by now.

“I-combine n’yo na po mga nakatanggap sa listahan na una at binalikan n’yo noong second round. Importante, wala pong ma-miss out at hindi makatanggap para walang reklamo. Para lahat ng nagugutom ay matulungan (Combine the first and second round lists. Everyone must be included so you won’t get complaints. So we can all feed the hungry),” he added.

Go remained confident though that the Department of Social Welfare and Development would do its mandate well.

“Wala pong pulitika dito. ‘Wag n’yo haluan ng pulitika. Marami na po nasususpinde na mga kapitan na nagsasamantala (There is no politics here. Let’s not involve politics. In fact, there have been local officials who have been suspended),” he said.

Go assured he would continue to push for the additional assistance needed to address hunger and ensure that the government does its part to ease the burden of Filipinos in distress.

“‘Wag kayo mag-alala, ‘di ako titigil sa kakakulit. Si Pangulong Duterte, concerned po sya. Ayaw niya may magutom bagama't bumaba na ang hunger rate ngayon at unemployment base po sa data (Don’t worry, I will continue to push for more support measures. President Duterte is concerned. He doesn’t want Filipinos to go hungry, although data show that the hunger and unemployment rates have decreased),” he said. (PR)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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