Pangilinan asked to ensure welfare of urban poor under proposed Bayanihan 3

URBAN-poor groups and various homeowners’ associations in Metro Manila and nearby provinces have asked Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan to ensure that their welfare is protected under the proposed Bayanihan 3 now being discussed in the Senate.

“Kasama ang aming organisasyon at mga homeowners’ associations sa iba’t ibang resettlement sites sa NCR at Luzon, hinihiling namin ang inyong suporta sa pagsama ng mga sumusunod na pangunahing panawagan sa pagbuo at pagpasa ng Bayanihan 3 sa Senado,” the groups said in a letter to Pangilinan dated May 3, 2021.

The group asked Pangilinan to ensure that the master list of Social Amelioration Program (SAP) beneficiaries of local government units (LGUs) to be updated regularly to include qualified families that are not included in the list of Department of Social Welfare and Development and in the LGUs’ Community-Based Monitoring System.

“Mahalaga din na patuloy paganahin ang Grievance Mechanism na binuo ng DSWD para sa SAP distribution noong nakaraang taon at makipagtulungan sa barangay, homeowners’ association, at neighbourbood association para sa maayos na sistema ng pagsubaybay, pag-a-apela at reklamo (grievance) na aktibo at agarang nakaka-responde,” they added.

They also pushed for the moratorium for the amortization of all socialized housing projects of the government, including the National Housing Authority, especially for families that lost their jobs and other sources of livelihood.

“Ang bayarin sa pabahay ay pumapatong sa ibang pangunahing gastusin gaya ng pagkain, tubig, at kuryente ng mga pamilya. Sa kawalan ng trabaho at kita, mababaon sa penalty charges at interes ang mga pamilya,” they emphasized.

They said the local governments and barangay can help verify the status of families affected by the pandemic.

The groups also called on Pangilinan to work for the inclusion of moratorium on demolitions of informal settler families (ISFs) in Bayanihan 3 while the country is still under the State of Public Health Emergency and State of Calamity.

“Higit na mailalagay ang buhay ng maralita sa panganib, lalo na ang mga bulnerableng populasyon, kung magpapatuloy ang pagkasira ng kanilang tahanan at kabuhayan dahil sa demolisyon,” they pointed out.

The letter was signed by officials of various homeowners’ associations from Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, and Rizal.

Senate Pro Tempore Ralph Recto submitted his proposed Bayanihan 3 December last year. He seeks a package worth 485 billion pesos to provide additional assistance to the public affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Senator Manny Pacquiao also filed his own version of Bayanihan 3 which includes a 335-billion-peso stimulus package.

Pangilinan vowed to take up the group’s request at the Bayanihan 3 hearings.

“Rasonable ang mga kahilingan ng ating mga kapatid na sobrang naapektuhan ng pandemya. Ibabahagi natin ang kanilang mga kahilingan sa mga hearing kaugnay ng Bayanihan 3,” he said.