Kabataan Partylist decries the swift passage of the Bayanihan to Recover as One bill on second reading last night, August 5.
The Bayanihan to Recover as One Bill, the continuation of the Bayanihan to Heal As One Law, seeks to give President Duterte emergency powers until September 2020. Additionally, it also seeks to give President Duterte 162 Billion to fund the government’s plan to address the pandemic. The bill gives Duterte the authority to realign government funds to “stimulate” the economy and to utilize the money to boost the fight against the COVID-19.
“We demand a comprehensive report and assessment of The Bayanihan to Heal as One Law. We should be discussing first how the Bayanihan law was implemented. The accounting of 275Billion budget allocated for financial assistance and health measures. Marami pong dumadaing sa mga kababayan natin na di nakakuha ng SAP at hanggang ngayon ang 2nd tranche ay di pa rin naipapamahagi sa lahat. Patuloy pa din ang hinaing ng ating mga health workers sa PPE, regular testing at assistance sa kanila. Gusto nating malaman ang mga kasagutan at mga paglilinaw bago tumungo sa panibago na namang batas na kapareho ang layunin,” said Rep. Sarah Elago.
The Social Amelioration Program has completed its 100% distribution only in June. It took 3 long months for the 1st tranche of SAP to be distributed to 18Million Filipinos. According to DSWD, it has yet to complete the distribution of the 2nd. tranche which should have been given around April to May. Only 1.5 million of the 12 million family beneficiaries have received it as of July 11.
“Sa hanay ng mga kabataan, nais din nilang malaman kung saan din napunta ang mga donation ng ibang bansa para sa atin? Obligasyon po natin sa taumbayan na magreport patungkol sa mga gastos ng pamahalaan sa COVID,” Elago added.
In the Bayanihan to Recover as One law, only 600 Million is allocated for the education sector.
“We lament this 600 Million budget allocation for education. We asked the breakdown of the budget but we did not get any answers,” Rep. Sarah explained.
“Malaking usapin ngayon sa mga kabataan at mga magulang kung makakapagpatuloy ba sila sa pag-aaral habang may pandemya. Edukasyon na dapat ligtas, accessible at may kalidad. Kailangan pagtuunan ng pansin at wag kalimutan ni Pangulong Duterte ang mga kabataan at siguraduhin ang pagpapatuloy ng kanilang edukasyon. Mahigit na 6 Milyon ang ‘di nakapag-enroll ngayong pasukan. Ang iba nakapag-enrol nga ngunit di alam san kukuha ng pambili ng gadgets. Ang mga magulang ay nawalan ng kabuhayan. Problema din ng mga magulang ang modular learning. Nararapat na dagdagan ng budget ang sektor ng edukasyon at siguraduhin ang pagpapatuloy ng edukasyon ng mga kabataan.”
The youth and the people have been battling the COVID-19 pandemic for 6 months now but they have yet to see the comprehensive plans of the Duterte Administration.
“We are currently under MECQ for 2 weeks. The health workers asked for a time-out for the government to recalibrate the government’s strategy to address the pandemic. According to them, we are at a critical stage and we are losing the war against COVID.”
“Yet, it seems the government has no new plans to speak of. It has offered no commitment to give aide to the people affected by the renewed lockdown. Moreover, commuters have no means of transportation to get to work. The new academic year is set to start on August 24 while more than 6Million students are still not enrolled. These issues should be addressed one by one. The government should heed the needs of the people.”
If the government really wants us to recover as one, they should heed the call of the health workers and the people. Push for a comprehensive, health-based, and pro-people pandemic response. Demilitarize community quarantines and give urgent socioeconomic aid to the people. Change the leadership in the DOH and in the IATF! Free and systematic mass testing now! ###