The ‘financial aid or “ayuda” from local government has been helpful so far, especially for the indigents.
One would think the poor would try to get as much as they can considering the difficulties brought about aby the enhanced community quarantine.
But there are those who understand that they are not the only ones suffering from the crisis.
Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto tweeted saying one resident mistakenly received P400 worth of food coupons but was honest enough to return half of it.
“Mas marami pa rin talaga ang tapat at may mabuting puso,” Sotto said.
May nanay na nakakuha ng sobrang 400 pesos na Food Coupons natin. Nagamit niya yung 200 sa talipapa, pero nakonsensiya.
Kinabukasan, isinauli niya yung 400. (yung 200, in cash)
Mas marami pa rin talaga ang tapat at may mabuting puso. pic.twitter.com/vwIVFuiYcc
— Vico Sotto (@VicoSotto) April 23, 2020
Brgy. Masambong, Quezon City’s Estelita Patala also gave in to her conscience when she realized her family has had enough help from the DSWD. Patala and her husband decided to return over P5,000 of cash assistance from the DOLE.
“Mahirap gastusin yung alam mong sagadsagad ka na tapos yung iba di nakakakain,” Patala said.
Aris Mendoza who is from the same city returned his ayuda, too, and both were praised by their barangay captain Arsenia Flores.
“Yung iba naghahangad na makadoble, pero silang dalawa ay naghangad para maisauli para mas mapakinabangan pa ng ibang tao,” Flores said.
Similarly, tricycle driver Jaime Teodoro from Bulacan asked his son to return the P6500 from the DSWD even when he hasn’t worked a day for over two months since the implementation of the ECQ.
Jayminia Medina who runs a sari-sari store consulted with her husband and both agreed to return the P6500 they received knowing someone out there needs it more than they do.
A street sweeper from Barangay Nangka, Marikina City made the headlines after returning the P8000 he got from the government since he hasn’t lost his job.
Arturo Pantas was one of the many that received cash aid, but his heart wouldn’t let him keep it.
“Meron pa pong mas nangangailangan na talaga pong nagugutom.
“Hindi po katulad namin, tuloy tuloy po ang trabaho namin, sumasahod po kami. Kahit papaano, may pinambibili pa po kami,” Pantas added.
However, some use the cash assistance they’ve received for unnecessary purposes.
An unidentified woman was caught by ECQ enforcers after curfew and revealed that she spent her cash aid of P6500 rebonding her hair.
Various reports suggest that it is common for recipients to use their cash aids to buy drugs.
Clark Jerel Navalta of Bacoor, Cavite who received P6,500 from the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) used a portion of it to buy shabu, and was nabbed by authorities.
“Bumili po muna ako ng groceries po tapos kumuha po ng mga halagang P150 lang naman po ‘yon at nag-drugs po,” Navalta said in an interview.
“Kasi may extra po ako sa construction, pinapa-extra po ako dun sa banda sa amin. Kaya sinubukan ko po na kumuha (ng droga) para magkalakas lang ng konti,” he added.
A family from Barangay Tatalon, Quezon City were arrested during a buy bust operation revealing that two of them received P6700 each from the national government’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps)
“‘Yong kaniyang anak, ginagamit na tagapag-abot ‘pag may bumibili ng droga. Siya ‘yong ginagamit na runner and then ‘yong kaniyang balae, base sa ating imbestigasyon ay gumagamit din o kumukuha,” said Police Captain Randy Llanderal, Quezon City Police District Station 11 Deputy Station Commander.
The police seized 13 sachets of suspected shabu with a street value of P34,000.
Four people were arrested in Pagsanjan, Laguna for possessing illegal drugs after authorities were tipped off.
Police Capt. Fernando Credo said that one of the arrested admitted having received cash aid from the SAP.
“Sana sa lahat ng nakatanggap sana gamitin sa mabuti, ipambili ng pagkain keysa ibili ng bisyo kung ayaw niyo matulad sa akin,” the suspect said.
On May 9, Lucena police chief Lt. Colonel Romulo Albacea said a local drug pusher from Barangay Ibabang Iyam also admitted to have used his cash aid from the SAP to buy crystal meth.
Fernando Herrera was set up when he tried to sell the illegal drug to an undercover police officer.
Authorities seized 11 plastic sachets of shabu worth P14,552. The suspect is facing charges for violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go previously gave a warning saying those who use cash aid from the SAP illegally will be disqualified for the next distribution of assistance.
His statement came after some recipients used theirs for illegal drugs and cockfighting.
“Ang tulong mula sa gobyerno, sabi nga ng Pangulo[ng Rodrigo Duterte], ibigay na lang sa asawa, ibigay na lang sa anak. ‘Yung iba naman po ay isinasabong. Ibig sabihin, kung may pera naman pala kayo na pang-sabong, disqualified na sila dapat sa susunod na distribution,” he said.
“Ibili ninyo po ng pagkain. Ang dami-dami na po naghihirap na Pilipino sa ngayon.
“Nagkandahirap na nga ‘yung national government, ang Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), nagkandahirap na nga silang pagkasyahin at i-allocate para maibigay sa inyo tapos ibibili ninyo lang ng droga. Sayang lang pp,” he added.