Chiz hits double
standard in helping homeless
There is something severely wrong when the government can provide
immediate financial assistance for the relocation of Manila’s street
dwellers who could prove to be “eye sores” in the upcoming Asia-Pacific
Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders’ meeting, while more than 200,000
families who survived Super Typhoon Yolanda two years ago continue to
languish in temporary shelters.
This was pointed out by independent vice presidential candidate Sen. Francis
“Chiz” Escudero, who chided the administration for “shelling out P4,000 for
each family living in Metro Manila’s streets to relocate for a period of six
days beginning November 15 as a way to hide them during the APEC meetings.”
“That’s about P660 a day for the six days that they have to go into hiding
and stay away from the public eye so that our foreign visitors will not get
to see the true state of the poor Filipino families,” said Escudero, who is
leading all pre-election surveys for vice president.
He said the APEC solution was a more brazen yet quick patchwork compared to
the decision of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in
Pope Francis’ visit to the Philippines last January to take these urban
families to a resort in Cavite.
“Kung noon may seminar-seminar pa, ngayon straight away pera na lang,” said
Malacanang, through Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte, defended
the move to give homeless families P4,000 each, saying it was part of the
DSWD’s modified CCT (conditional cash transfer).
“Iyong pagtulong po ng DSWD ay hindi po limited sa tuwing mayroong malaki
pong event ngunit nakikita po natin itong pagkakataon na simulan ’yung
pagtulong sa kanila para makapag-transitionnaman po sila from the streets
into dignified living quarters,” she said.
Given Valte’s explanation, Escudero put Malacanang to task for failing to
make a dent on its huge shortfall in providing permanent shelters to some
205,128 families who survived Yolanda in 2013.
According to the government, it has only been able to transfer 298 of those
families to permanent shelters.
And if Valte’s explanation could be taken for what it is worth, Escudero
challenged the government to also give Yolanda-affected families who have
yet to be given permanent homes some P660 a day or long-term stay at a
resort if only to show the government’s consistency and sincerity in helping
our homeless brothers and sisters.”