President Rodrigo Roa Duterte wants female members of the Armed Forced of the Philippines (AFP) to assist the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in distributing cash assistance to poor households considering the motherly nature of female soldiers.
In a televised address Tuesday, the President expressed his fears about the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) falling into the wrong hands especially after hearing reports that some local officials are pocketing the government subsidy.
“I will ask General Bautista to use solely ang kanilang ano — full charge sa DSWD. Alam ko walang tao. Ang order ko sa kanya, kanina nung nag-meeting kami na he will request na kapwa niya sundalo noon — eh retired na ‘to, that’s why he’s with the Cabinet — na magpatulong siya sa Armed Forces pag-distribute ng pera,” the President said.
“I have nothing against male, sa mga lalaki. Wala akong ano. Ang sinasabi ko lang mas matiyaga itong mga babae, lalo na kung isipin nila na ito kailangan ng mga pamilya, mga bata para pagkain. The empathy, iyong ano ng puso ng babae ang gusto ko. Kaya ang sa mga babae na miyembro, maybe you will be commissioned to do that.”
The President also warned against the threats posed by the members of the New People’s Army (NPA), who regularly attack infantrymen escorting social workers handing over cash assistance in remote areas of the country.
He instructed the members of the military to neutralize the insurgents who will attack convoys with the aim of seizing guns as well as cash and food aid.
The President also offered a P2 million bounty to anyone who could provide information for the capture and neutralization of NPA top commanders.
“Two million ako basta ‘yung top commander,” he said. “Totohanan kung sino ‘yung makaturo tapos doon sa army o pulis, o so ‘pag ikaw ang nagturo at nahuli ‘yung commander na mabigat, may hati ka diyan sa pera pero alisin kita sa lugar mo.”
Poor Filipinos, under the national government’s Social Amelioration Program in response to the COVID-19 crisis, are given cash assistance ranging from P5,000 to P8,000 during the lockdown to provide for their basic necessities.
Under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Law, the government set aside a P200-billion emergency subsidy for about 18 million low-income Filipino families.
Aside from the emergency subsidy allotted to 18 million poor households, President Duterte approved the grant of cash aid to an additional five million families. PND