April 13, 2021 at 10:50 pm
Joel E. Zurbano
The Taguig City government suspended the distribution of cash assistance in Barangay Upper Bicutan after some disappointed residents threw stones and made threats to local officials at the venue of distribution.
“To diffuse tension and restore peace, the city government has suspended today the distribution of the national government’s emergency relief assistance in Barangay Upper Bicutan. The distribution will resume as soon as the safety of the beneficiaries and the government workers is ensured,” the city’s Public Information Office stated in its advisory Tuesday.
Reports reaching the Office of the Mayor showed that some residents whose names were not included in the list of beneficiaries stormed the venue for the distribution and threatened and attempted to hurt social workers, security staff and policemen.
City officials were trying to explain to residents and cited the national government’s directive in the distribution of financial assistance under the Social Amelioration Program 1 and 2.
They said the national government prioritized the beneficiaries who were in the SAP1 and SAP2 lists while other vulnerable groups like low-income individuals and those severely affected by the enhanced community quarantine were to follow but subject to the availability of funds.
The local government also explained that it could not add or put other beneficiaries in the lists of priorities without violating the prescribed rules.
“The city understands the hardships that COVID-19 has brought upon everyone. That is why since the lockdown started last year, the city has been extending financial assistance, food packs and hygiene kits to various sectors, including those who are not in the SAP list of beneficiaries,” it added.
The city government assured it would continue extending assistance for as long as its resources permitted it.
“We appeal to our residents to remain calm and to respect the rules laid down by the National Government. More importantly, we appeal to our residents not to threaten or harm in any way our social workers, security staff and policemen who are all working hard and risking their own health and safety to distribute the assistance to their fellow Taguigeños.”.