SAN JOSE, Antique, April 10 (PIA)-- Deputy Speaker and Antique Lone District Representative Loren Legarda appeals to government agencies to fast track the release the assistance for families affected by the Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
She said, during the Laging Handa Network Briefing organized by the Philippine Information Agency on April 6 with PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar, that the P18 billion in 2019 budget is available at the Development Bank of the Philippines and Land Bank of the Philippines for distribution under Unconditional Cash Transfer for poorest of the poor, and will expire this December.
"A remaining P1.8 billion for 2018 is still with LBP that has not yet distributed because it is waiting for the go-signal of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)," she said.
Lagarda emphasized that these funds, which are over and above the Social Amelioration Program and over and above the current year budget of P36 billion (for UCT), will greatly benefit the poor at this time of crisis.
As to the list of poor beneficiaries, it is already available since the Unconditional Cash Transfer program is already been implemented since 2018.
Legarda appealed and advised DSWD to approve the distribution of UCT.
On the other hand, she also underscored the importance of preserving the environment amid this COVID-19 pandemic.
She urged the public to pursue and enhance sustainable principles and practices in their homes and communities.
"Home gardening or planting of edible plants/produce even in small spaces or in recycled containers for food supply of families, practice recycling and waste segregation are encouraged," she added.
Legarda stressed that the air quality has greatly improved because of the quarantine, hence "we must strictly implement the Clean Air Act."
She likewise called on everyone to be conscious of cleaning the seas and rivers instead of throwing garbage therein because these are the source of our food.
She also urged the public not to engage in illegal wildlife trade which caused the spread of the virus.
"All are also enjoined to observe sanitation, cleanliness and health wellness. These should be observed in our daily living, not just this time but beyond this emergency quarantine protocols period," Legarda said, adding that what is happening now is a wake-up call to all. (JBG/PSM/PIA Antique)