ILOILO CITY – Bagong Alyansang Makabayan or BAYAN Panay held a dialogue with the Department of Social Welfare and Development to continue to demand adequate financial aid from the agency. The group also expressed their dissent towards DSWD for their slow distribution of financial aid. Said dialogue happened last July 27 after the group held the SONA ng BAYAN which was done in protest against Duterte’s State of the Nation Address as well as to show the true state of the community especially during the pandemic.
In their dialogue, DSWD denied the group’s claims of their slow response to the pandemic in relation to the distribution of the P1,000 financial aid. There is said to be a P2.6 billion budget allotted for financial aid for Iloilo City and the entire province of Iloilo that is affected by the Enhanced Community Quarantine status, but a large portion of said budget remains undistributed.
BAYAN Panay continued to lobby for House Bill (HB) 9089 or the “10K Ayuda Bill” that aims to provide P10,000 financial aid to all citizens who lost their jobs during the pandemic. This campaign was registered by the DSWD as a form of petition. The group also petitioned for HB 9262 which aims to give P100 subsidy each day to all workers as a form of support for their daily needs. While the dialogue occurred, the Paghugpong sang Mangunguma sa Panay kag Guimaras (PAMANGGAS) also registered a similar petition to the Department of Agriculture.
According to Cong. Carlos Zarate, representative of Bayan Muna Party-list, the Duterte administration’s loans that has amounted to trillions are all in vain as they aren’t used to curb the pandemic and are instead being wasted on projects that do not benefit the community such as the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict. Zarate adds that the P100 daily subsidy would be adequate enough to sustain their daily needs especially for those with low wages. Zarate also emphasizes that the government is responsible for failing to control the increase in the prices of basic goods and commodities in the country.
In an official statement by BAYAN Panay, spokesperson Bryan Bosque said that Duterte is responsible for the crisis that the country is currently facing. According to them, Duterte intentionally turned a blind eye on the needs of the people during the pandemic. Bosque added that the country does not have a future ahead of it under the government’s tyrannical rule and that there is no other solution but to oust Duterte and to ensure that they are persecuted for their crimes against the people./PT