Manila allots P591.5M cash aid for at least 568K families

Isko Moreno, Joel Chua and Jong Isip
Mayor Isko Moreno (middle) with (right) Majority Leader Joel Chua and President Pro Tempore Jong Isip observe social distancing as they discuss the ordinance that would give P1,000 each to 568,000 families in Manila. Photo by JERRY S. TAN

MAYOR Isko Moreno announced that a whopping P591.5 million was realigned by the city government to be able to provide P1,000 cash aid each to at least 568,000 families residing in Manila starting today (Tuesday), even as he lauded President Rodrigo Duterte for leading by example and seving as an inspiration when the latter decided to donate his salary to the fight against COVID 19.

In his public address the other night, Moreno said Duterte deserves to be commended for what he is doing to address the coronavirus problem besetting the country, by going beyond his sworn duty and showing genuine concern for Filipinos. He also expressed hope that others in government will also follow suit, stressing that even a one-month salary or a mere kilo of rice can spell all the difference.

‘Kanina po nabalita na ang sweldo ni Pangulong Duterte ay ido-donate niya. Pag inisip n’yo, maliit lang … di po namin ibinibilang kung magkano ibinibigay ng tao pero sa panahong ito, pangarap ko ay makita at maramdaman ng taumbayan na kaming mga pulitiko, magkakaiba man ng partido, idelohiya o pananaw ay nagkakaisa dahil ang kalaban ay hindi pulitiko o mamamayan. Di tayo ang magkakalaban, ang kalaban natin ay si COVID 19,’Moreno said.

He added: ‘Totoo, ang bawat posisyon ay may kanya-kanyang tungkulin na dapat gampanan pero kungdi kalabisan, bilang Pilipino, ang hiling lang namin ay makita na ang mga halal ng bayan ay lumalagpas sa tungkuling iniatang sa kanila ng batas. At ito ang kailangang makita ng bawat Pilipino, bawat Manilenyo na kami ay nagkakaisa, isinasantabi ang pulitika..  yan ay pinatunayan na naman ni Pangulong Duterte at para sa kaalaman ninyo, hindi po kami magkapartido kaya ‘wag tayo magi-isip na may pulitika pero nakita nya ang ang panawagan ng boses ng tao ano ba naman ‘yung isang buwang sweldo? Hindi na nga sweldo. Kahit nga isang kilong bigas makita ng tao na  ng tao we went beyond our duties’.

‘Muli, Pangulong Duterte, salamat.. binibigyan mo kami ng lakas ng loob maraming salamat sa sa iyo at ipinakita mong muli ang pagmamalasakit mo sa ating mga kababayan,’ Moreno said, as he thanked the Cabinet members and Manila City Council members who have also donated their one-month salaries for the same cause. Moreno and Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna, it was learned, had also done the same.

It will be recalled that Moreno had also thanked 117 Congressmen, led by House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, House Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez,  Davao City Rep. Paolo Duterte and Buhay Partylist Rep. Lito Atienza, for having donated their one-month salaries, a day after the mayor made an emotional appeal for those in government to help those going hungry amid the enhanced community quarantine.

Meanwhile, Moreno commended the city council, particularly Lacuna, president pro tempore Ernesto Isip, Jr. and majority leader Joel Chua, for spearheading the passage of the ordinance which resulted from an emergency meeting he held with them and key city officials and which provides for the P591.5 million ‘city amelioration crisis assistance fund (CACAF)’.

The said fund had been derived from the Office of the Mayor (P200,000,000); Manila Department of Social Welfare,(124,000,000) and 20 percent City Development Fund (267,500,000).

Moreno said that P1,000 financial assistance will be given to each of the beneficiaries identified by each of the 896 barangay chairs ‘to cushion the economic effect of COVID-19 crisis and to enable the people of Manila to purchase much- needed food and supplies for their survival.’ The distribution of the funds, he said, is expected to be done from Tuesday to Thursday, with barangay chairmen going from house to house.

The money will be coursed through the barangay heads who, in turn, shall be in charge of the proper liquidation of the said fund, subject to existing laws, rules and regulation and who will be held accountable should anything go wrong.

Meanwhile, the KADIWA mobile stores launched by the city government during the last quarter of the previous year began going around the city to sell vegetables and other food products.