trending news

Nat’l ID syst can address delays in gov’t aid distribution to beneficiaries - DSWD official

November 13, 2020

 The Philippine Identification System or PhilSys can help address recurring delays in the distribution of government assistance to beneficiaries. This is according to Assistant Secretary Joseline Niwane of the Department of Social Welfare and Development at a public webinar recently organized by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS). Niwane, who served as a discussant at the PIDS event, said that one of the major causes of delays in distributing government assistance like the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) is the lack of identification cards among many beneficiaries.   She said that through the PhilSys, it would be easier for the department to identify target recipients for social protection programs like the SAP. “Once the national ID system is in place, we will be able to assist our beneficiaries directly through digital means. They will also be able to access government benefits better and faster,” the DSWD official explained. DSWD currently relies on the SAP forms distributed and provided by barangay officials and local government units. PIDS Senior Research Fellow Jose Ramon Albert, the main presenter in the webinar, supported Niwane’s statement. The national ID system’s implementation in the Philippines is long overdue, he said.  “It should have been implemented years ago before the pandemic. Unfortunately, there have been some delays in its implementation that is why, as Assistant Secretary Niwane pointed out, it has not been easy for the DSWD to provide the SAP and other kinds of benefits [to the people],” he said. Albert also emphasized the need to have ‘data interoperability among government agencies’ once the national ID system is in full swing. “Will [other government agencies] be able to share databases with the DSWD so that we won’t be wasting resources?  Because sometimes, we seem to be giving too many benefits to people, and we don’t know whether there are actual changes in their lives as a result of all the programs that we are [providing them],” he pointed out. Concurring with Albert, Niwane said that government agencies must synchronize and share their data to prevent beneficiaries from receiving “double or triple assistance”. Data interoperability will also help the government monitor the assistance’ impact on the beneficiaries' lives, she added.      Moreover, Albert underscored the importance of data privacy in the implementation of the national ID system. “We have a stringent privacy law that is sometimes misunderstood by people. How do we implement [the national ID system] while maintaining privacy? The issue is not whether people should have access to one’s personal information. It is more of making sure that there will be those who will be made accountable because sometimes people can misuse the access to data,” he said.   The nationwide implementation of the PhilSys is mandated by Republic Act No. 11055, otherwise known as the “Philippine Identification System Act”. Signed by President Duterte on August 6, 2018, the Act decrees the establishment of a single national identification system that aims to provide a valid proof of identity for Filipino citizens and resident aliens in the country.   The PhilSys is lodged with the Philippines Statistics Authority (PSA). The agency aims to register low-income household heads by the fourth quarter of 2020 and open the registration to the general public by 2021.  Watch the video of this seminar at https://www.facebook.com/PIDS. PH/videos/256956769024542. For more videos of PIDS events, go to https://www.pids.gov.ph/videos .  (PIDS)

READ MORE
Andanar lauds Laguna report as province with highest COVID-19 recovery rate

November 6, 2020

The province of Laguna, which used to be one of the COVID-19 hotspots in earlier months, is now among areas with the lowest COVID-19 active cases and rising as the LGU with the highest COVID-19 recovery rate at 91%. During the Pagdalaw sa Laguna: “Explain, Explain, Explain” conference on Wednesday, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar lauded the development of the COVID-19 situation in Laguna. The said conference aims to present and bring closer to the people the programs and services of the national government amid the pandemic, and provide an avenue for stakeholders to acquire and share updates on the COVID-19 situation of the locality. “Kailangan po natin maipakita sa buong Pilipinas kung gaano po kagaling ang Laguna na maresolba ang kaso ng COVID-19. We need to inspire yung iba pang probinsya sa labas ng Laguna at maipakita kung paano nagkakaisa ang LGUs dito. We should show the entire Philippines how united we are laban sa COVID-19 [We need to show the whole Philippines how well Laguna handled the COVID-19 cases.  We need to inspire other provinces outside of Laguna and show that LGUs are united here.  We should show the entire Philippines how united we are against COVID-19],” he said. “But more than anything, it is really to send the symbol of hope, symbol of a united front and also para maipakita natin na mayroong mga ehemplo na pwedeng tularan ng iba pang lalawigan sa buong Pilipinas [But more than anything, it is really to send the symbol of hope, symbol of a united front and also to show that there are good examples that can be emulated by other provinces all over the Philippines],” he added. In previous months, high numbers of COVID-19 infections were reported in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal, prompting the National Task Force Against COVID-19 (NTF COVID-19) to designate Cabinet members to oversee said areas. Secretary Andanar is the designated “Big Brother” of the anti-COVID coordination for Laguna, linking gaps among LGUs and state agencies and ensuring synchronized COVID-19 responses. As of November 3, 2020, Laguna recorded 15,300 coronavirus infections, of which 1,063  are active cases however with no reported patients under severe condition. The province logged 13,925 recoveries and 312 fatalities. The PCOO chief assured that aside from COVID-19, the government maintains commitment to assist and respond to areas affected by typhoons and the pandemic, while bringing timely information needed in emergency cases and dismissing disinformation. “Sa gitna ng unos, naniniwala kami na ang involved public is an informed public. Kaya kami sa Presidential Communications Operations Office  at aming attached agencies ay walang tigil at walang kapaguran sa pagpapalaganap ng impormasyon tungkol sa mga responses, actions, at programs ng administrasyong Duterte para mabawasan ang epekto ng COVID-19 at ng maiwasan ang mga di inaasahang sakuna mula sa mga bagyo at iba pang mga kalamidad [Amid the storm, we believe that an involved public is an informed public.  So we at the Presidential Communications Operations Office and our attached agencies are relentless and tireless in disseminating information about the responses, actions, and programs of the Duterte administration to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and to prevent unforeseen accidents from storms and other calamities,” he said. Key officials present during the conference include the Department of Health (DOH) Director Beverly Ho, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Director Irene Dumlao, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Undersecretary Sarah Arriola, Department of Agriculture (DA) Undersecretary Roldan Gorgonio, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary Ruth Castelo, Small Business Corporation (SBCorp.) Strategy for Policy and Systems Sector Officer-in-Charge (OIC) Josefina Flores, and the Regional Task Force Against COVID-19. (PCOO)

READ MORE
Bong Go sends aid to fire victims in Zamboanga City

November 5, 2020

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go continues to provide assistance to Filipinos in need, particularly those affected by fire incidents. On Tuesday, November 3, Go’s personnel distributed aid to 134 Muslim families from two barangays in Zamboanga City whose houses were ravaged by two separate fire incidents. One hundred twenty seven families from Barangay Campo Islam and seven families from Barangay Calarian received meals, food packs, masks, face shield, cash assistance and medicines. Go’s team strictly complied with the necessary health and safety protocols in line with national and local policies during the activity. “Alam ko ang inyong pinagdadaanan ngayon, kaya ako nagpadala ng tulong sa inyo. Nandiyan po ang aking staff dala ang pagkain, food packs, masks, face shields. Mayroon ding cash assistance at medicines para sa inyong lahat,” Go said in a video call. He also urged each beneficiaries to cooperate with authorities, follow health protocols, and use the masks and face shields as a way to prevent transmission of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country. With the limited transportation due to the health crisis and the need to commute to work, Go provided bicycles to selected beneficiaries. Go’s team also gave away tablets to another set of selected beneficiaries for their children to help them in the blended learning approach being implemented. “Mahirap ang transportasyon ngayong panahon dahil sa nangyayaring health crisis sa bansa. Kaya mayroon po akong bisikletang ibibigay sa iilan sa inyo,” Go said. “Sa mga bata, may binigay akong mga tablets sa inyong mga magulang. Mayroon lang akong pakiusap sa inyo. Mag-aral kayo ng mabuti dahil edukasyon ang ating tanging puhunan sa mundong ito. At tayo po, mga magulang, pagsikapan natin na makapagtapos ang ating mga anak,” he added. The Senator also urged fire victims to go to the nearest Malasakit Center located in Zamboanga City Medical Center to avail of medical and financial assistance for their healthcare needs. The Malasakit Center is a one-stop shop where the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Health, PhilHealth and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office are housed under one roof to conveniently provide medical and financial assistance from their existing programs for poor and indigent Filipino patients. “Para sa mga Pilipino itong Malasakit Center. Isinulong ko ito para maging batas dahil alam kong makakabenepisyo kayo dito. Hangad ko at ni Pangulong Duterte na mabigyan kayo ng maayos at mabilis na serbisyo, lalong lalo na sa inyong kalusugan,” Go said. Meanwhile, representatives from the DSWD also provided separate financial assistance to the beneficiaries under their existing program for individuals in crisis situations. They also gave away relief kits for the affected families. Personnel from the Department of Trade and Industry were also present to assess and validate potential beneficiaries for the livelihood assistance under the Pangkabuhayan sa Pagbangon at Ginhawa livelihood program. The National Housing Agency also assessed and validated fire victims for housing assistance under the Emergency Housing Assistance Program (EHAP). “Magtulungan tayo lalo na sa panahon ngayon. Basta kami ni Presidente Duterte, magseserbisyo kami para sa inyo sa abot ng aming makakaya,” Go reiterated. “Magbayanihan at magmalasakit tayo sa kapwa para malampasan natin ang mga pagsubok na ito. Sino pa ba ang magtutulungan kundi tayo ring mga kapwa Pilipino,” he ended. (OSBG)

READ MORE
DA extends P680-M initial assistance to typhoon Rolly affected farmers,fishers in Bicol

November 5, 2020

The Department of Agriculture through the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) has allotted P592,432,000 as indemnification fund for 32,761 Bicol farmers, whose insured crops were damaged by super typhoon “Rolly.” Agriculture Secretary William Dar made the announcement during a simple program in Polangui, Albay, where he led the distribution of P90-million worth of various assistance to affected farmers and fishers. Albay is one of the hard-hit provinces in Bicol, where Super Typhoon “Rolly” wrought considerable damage. The assistance included seeds of hybrid rice, corn and assorted vegetables, urea fertilizer, farm implements, and fishing gears and paraphernalia. The PCIC-insured farmers and fishers in Bicol region will receive insurance claims, ranging from P10,000 to P15,000 for their crops, farm equipment, fishing boats, and gears damaged by typhoon “Rolly.” Secretary Dar added that affected farmers and fishers can also avail of an emergency and rehabilitation loan worth P25,000 from the DA’s Agricultural Credit and Policy Council (ACPC), under its Survival and Recovery (SURE) Loan Program. The DA-ACPC has allotted an initial P100M for Bicol under its Survival and Recovery (SURE) loan program. The loan is non-collateral, has zero interest, and is payable in 10 years. Initial estimates of agri-fishery damage in Bicol amount to P2.2 billion, said DA Bicol Regional Director Rodel Tornilla in his report to Secretary Dar, during the simple program at a farmers’ multi-purpose cooperative rice processing center, attended by about 200 farmers, local and national government officials, and DA family officials and staff. Tornilla said Albay suffered an initial damage worth P885 M, including P140-M worth of irrigation systems and P66-M worth of fisheries. During the visit, Secretary Dar met with Albay Governor Al Francis Bicharra, Albay Representative Fernando Cabredo, Polangui Mayor Andy Mariscotes, Oas Mayor Domingo Escoto, Jr., Albay Board Members Dante Arandia and Eva Ribayan, and Albay Provincial Agriculturist Cheryll Rebeta. During the program, Secretary Dar had a dialogue with farmer-leaders, who asked for clarifications on the Rice Tariffication Law (RTL), use of excess tariffs on imported rice, Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF), repair and replacement of defective farm machinery, and palay procurement and buffer stocking of the DA’s National Food Authority (NFA). He assured them of continuous support of President Roa Duterte through the DA’s Plant, Plant, Plant Program. The program was also attended by other farmer-leaders and local officials from nearby towns of Lisbon, Guinobatan, and Oas. Meanwhile, in a report to Secretary Dar, NFA Administrator Judy Dansal said that as of October 31, 2020, the agency has bought since January a total of 606,883 50-kg bags of palay, of which 39 percent was procured in October, benefiting thousands of individual farmers and farmers’ cooperatives and associations (FCAs). Dansal added that region-wide the NFA has a current inventory of 548,795 bags of palay and 124,079 bags of rice. It has issued 9,927 bags of rice to various LGUs in five provinces for typhoon Rolly relief operations. During the visit, Secretary Dar was joined by DA Undersecretary for Operations Ariel Cayanan, NFA Administrator Dansal, DA Spokesperson and Assistant Secretary for Strategic Communications Noel Ocampo Reyes, Planters Products President Matt Maderazo, and DA Technical Adviser Jerry Pelayo. (DA-RFO 5 and DA StratComms)  

READ MORE
Bong Go gives aid to nearly three thousand fire victims in Bacoor City; reiterates push for measures to improve disaster resilience and response

November 5, 2020

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go consoled the victims of a fire that swept through Barangays Alima and Sineguelasan in Bacoor City, Cavite last November 1. A total of 755 families, composed of 2,928 individuals, were given emergency assistance, consisting of meals, financial aid, food packs, vitamins, masks and face shields, during the activity which was carried out at the Strike Gymnasium on Tuesday, November 3 under strict compliance with necessary health and safety protocols. “Nalulungkot ako dahil nag-evacuate kayo dahil sa bagyo. Naiwan ang mga bahay ninyo at imbes na wala pong disgrasyang nangyari, nasunog pa tuloy ang mga pamamahay ninyo. Sabi ko, pupuntahan ko kayo at sa abot ng makakaya namin ni Pangulong [Rodrigo] Duterte ay tutulong kami sa inyong lahat dito,” Go said to the victims. Select beneficiaries were given tablets so their children could participate in the blended learning being implemented in schools. Others were provided bicycles that they could use to commute to work given the limited public transportation options. A ride-hailing service donated backriding barriers as well. Representatives from the Department of Social Welfare and Development were present to distribute separate additional cash assistance and food packs from the government. Similarly, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office gave away basic medicines and food packs. Additionally, the National Housing Authority gave its commitment to help the beneficiaries rebuild their homes. Relocation sites were made available by the NHA for those who wish to start anew. The Department of Trade and Industry and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority also committed to extend aid through relevant livelihood and skills training programs. The Senator also reminded everyone to cooperate with authorities and follow protocols to protect themselves and their communities such as mandatory wearing masks and face shields, observing social distancing, and washing their hands. Meanwhile, Go also vowed that poor and vulnerable sectors would be prioritized once a vaccine for COVID-19 is available. “Huwag po kayo mawalan ng pag-asa. Patuloy lang po tayong magbayanihan at magmalasakit sa kapwa. Kapag mayroon nang safe at effective na v accine laban sa COVID-19, kayo po ang uunahin namin — ang mga mahihirap, vulnerable, at pinaka-nangangailangan,” Go reiterated. Furthermore, Go offered to pay for the treatment of beneficiaries with medical conditions. He encouraged them to seek medical and financial assistance by availing of the services from the nearest Malasakit Center located at the General Emilio Aguinaldo Medical Hospital in Trece Martires City. “Nandyan po ang Malasakit Center para magserbisyo sa inyo. Batas na po iyan. Pera nyo po iyan, ibinabalik lang sa inyo sa pamamagitan ng mabilis, maayos at maaasahang serbisyong medikal para sa bawat Pilipino,” Go said. After aiding the fire victims, Go urged the Bureau of Fire Protection to investigate the fire incident. He reiterated his call for the passage of Senate Bill No. 204 or the Fire Protection Modernization Bill of 2019 which shall establish a Fire Protection Modernization Program. Under the bill, the BFP will be provided adequate funding to hire more personnel, acquire modern fire equipment and provide training for their firefighters, among others. He also reiterated his commitment to push for SBN 205 or the Disaster Resilience Act of 2019 in an interview after the event. Go’s proposed department will improve the delivery of assistance to disaster victims by establishing a chain of command devoted to response operations. “Layunin ng bill na ito na magkaroon ng isang departamento na Cabinet-level na handang tumugon kaagad po. ‘Yung preparedness natin bago dumating ‘yung bagyo at pag-improve ng coordination sa iba’t ibang ahensya ng gobyerno... at dahil Cabinet-level, may Secretary level na rin na timon at pwede niya po ipatawag at paki-usapan ‘yung mga ka-level niyang Gabinete,” Go explained. “Mayroon ring regional offices or even down to provincial offices na pwede pong tumugon at mayroong malalapitan kaagad ang ating mga kababayan na apektado ng mga krisis na dulot ng kalamidad at iba pang sakuna,” he explained. During the distribution activity, Go thanked Senator Ramon Revilla Jr., Mayor Lani Mercado and Congressman Strike Revilla, among others, for making the activity possible. He also acknowledged the efforts of the local government units to respond to the needs of their constituents. Go, who recently visited the typhoon victims in Albay, reassured that President Duterte and this administration are committed to serve the interests and protect the welfare of all Filipinos, especially during times of crisis. “Nagtra-trabaho ang ating Pangulo. Minsan nga po madaling araw nakakausap ko at very much concerned po siya ano na ang nangyari at kung handa na ba ang lahat. Ako naman po, I also commend the local government units and their officials sa kanilang ginawang paghahanda at pagresponde sa bagyo. Malaking bagay po yung mga maagang evacuation para maiwasan ang disgrasya,” Go said. “Palagi po nating uunahin ang buhay ng bawat Pilipino lalo na tuwing mayroong disaster at sa panahon ngayon na mayroon pang pandemya. Huwag po kayo mag-alala. Nandirito po ang gobyerno ninyo na palaging handang magsilbi sa bawat Pilipino,” vowed Go. (OSBG)

READ MORE
Bong Go provides aid to market vendors in Pandi, Bulacan

October 30, 2020

On Wednesday, October 28, the office of Senator Christopher “Bong” Go distributed meals, food packs, masks, and face shields to 374 vendors, at the Pandi Public Market in Pandi, Bulacan, as COVID-19 continues to adversely affect their livelihoods. Aside from the said aid, Go’s team also handed out bicycles to selected recipients to help them in their daily commute to work. They also provided tablets to some beneficiaries to help their children adapt to blended learning in schools. The Department of Social Welfare and Development likewise gave financial assistance and additional food packs. Representatives from the Department of Trade and Industry were also present during the event to assess those who are eligible for their livelihood assistance under their existing programs. Expressing his concern for market vendors, Go reminded them to strictly follow health protocols to safeguard themselves from the COVID-19. “Sa mga kababayan ko diyan, alam kong hirap na hirap po ang ating mga public market vendors sa inyong negosyo at kadalasan din po d’yan ang hawaan ng sakit sa pinagtatrabahuhan ninyo. Kaya naman po napili namin na abutan kayo ng tulong para maprotektahan ang inyong sarili at matulungang makaahon muli ang inyong kabuhayan,” he said. “Meron lang po akong paalala sa inyo, mag-ingat po kayo, dapat social distancing palagi. ‘Yung face shield at mask, pakisuot lang po ito. Kung hindi na kailangang umalis ng bahay, ‘wag muna umalis. Hugas po kayo ng kamay, panatilihing malinis ang paligid at sunod lang kayo sa gobyerno dahil para naman po sa kapakanan ninyo ang ginagawa namin,” he reminded them. Despite the ongoing public health crisis, the Senator continues to reach out and extend much needed assistance to Filipinos in crisis situations. “Patuloy akong tutulong, lalong-lalo na sa mga mahihirap at mga pinaka-apektado ng krisis. Bisyo ko po ang magserbisyo sa inyo. Tuloy dapat ang serbisyo lalo na sa panahong hirap na hirap na ang mga kapwa nating Pilipino. Gagawin po natin ang lahat sa abot ng ating makakaya para magbigay ng tulong at mag-iwan ng ngiti sa oras ng inyong pagdadalamhati,” Go said. Go’s office has been extending assistance to public market vendors. He has so far provided aid to public market vendors in Kamuning, Quezon City; Caloocan City; Cainta and Tanay, Rizal; Ubay, Bohol; and Digos City, Davao del Sur; among others. (OSBG)

READ MORE

Subscribe Now!

Receive email updates from Mindanao Daily News.