On President Duterte’s Directive to the DSWD to Look for People Who are Hungry

Press Release
Reference: Prof. Judy Taguiwalo

During President Duterte’s almost 1 hour speech to expand the so-called “Community Quarantine” in Metro Manila to an “Expanded Community Quarantine” covering the whole of Luzon. One of the key points in the President’s speech, anticipating the feedback that the people will go hungry during Enhanced Community Quarantine which requires almost everyone to stay at home, the President instructed the Department of Social Welfare and Development to “go around and look for people who are hungry“.

While the people, especially the many poor who depend on daily wage or daily earning to survive would welcome , nay, would need support from the government to survive the coming weeks of lockdown in their homes, there is need for DSWD to get its act together. The DSWD has suspended its payouts for its social protection programs from March 15 to April 14. For the poor families who are recipients of this program, denying them this benefit at a time when the need is great is turning their backs on them. DSWD should immediately lift the suspension of the payout and also ensure the distribution of family food packs to those who have nothing or almost nothing. I am confident that our social workers and other social development workers like their colleagues in the health sector are ready to truly serve the vulnerable and marginalized.#

[Photo by Christoph Mohr]