Millions of Filipinos are under immense pressure, working even harder to feed their families amid the pandemic. Since extended lockdown and distancing measures are implemented, convergence zones were temporarily shut, causing businesses to be limited. Due to this unforeseen crisis, lots of Filipinos lost their jobs. Fortunately, for the greater benefit of the public, the Philippine government decided to direct their efforts on expanding healthcare facilities and programs.
To supposedly contain the virus’ rapid spread, Republic Act (RA) 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act was signed and is being enacted. President Rodrigo Duterte, given his pre-existing power as the president of the Philippines, has gained additional special powers, allowing him to impose standards on mobilization of supplies and other immediate help.
Since then, the government has been coming up with strategies to help the Philippines as a whole. Local government units are gearing up to fight the pandemic and save as many citizens as possible. From groceries and supplies to financial cash aids, the government aspires to help and reach people greatly affected by the virus through any means possible. Here are some of the help the government has given:
Philippine Government’s Help to Individuals:
1. DOLE’s COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) Financial Assistance
According to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), as of April 28, 2020, 87,301 establishments disclosed that over 1.6 million employees were affected due to businesses’ temporary closures. Moreover, 797,729 employees were put on alternative work arrangements as quarantine measures were imposed. To aid these employees, DOLE allotted P1.5 billion of its 2020 budget to provide one-time cash assistance of P5,000 to 300,000 workers processed under the COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP).
Due to overwhelming response, this has been suspended. Find out more here.
To aid displaced families, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has distributed food and non-food items to its beneficiaries. Since March, DSWD has equally distributed food packs, family tents, and protective gear to families heavily impacted by COVID-19.
To fulfill President Duterte’s enhanced community quarantine order, the Philippine National Police, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine Coast Guard, and the Bureau of Fire Protection formed the National Joint Task Force Coronavirus Shield which established a collaborative effort in addressing the effects of COVID-19.
The Department of Agriculture also aided the national government by providing quick response measures on the movement, trucking, and marketing of food supplies from different, far provinces to the metro areas.
To ensure the public’s safety, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) aided in providing disinfection services for vehicles and public spaces. DPWH installed sanitation tents and gantry facilities all over the country, too. Further, the government organization ensured to sanitize convergence areas such as checkpoints, schools, hospitals, and markets. Local government units are also expected to heed this by disinfecting their own respective public places.
Philippine Government’s Help to Businesses:
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) also have made their move. To prevent discord in the supply chain, DILG issued several advisories on the unrestricted movement of food supply, as well as the cargo and business personnel. This allows businesses in the food sector to continue running their businesses—sufficing the public’s demand.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has also begun its assets for the implementation of the PHP1-billion Enterprise Rehabilitation Financing. This will help businesses avoid assets foreclosure once quarantine restrictions are lifted.
These are among the programs Filipinos have received from the Philippine government thus far. Apart from our government’s help in combating the pandemic, we must also play a part in flattening the curve. Stay at home and practice proper hygiene. These are times where unity is vital. It’s our prime responsibility to take care of ourselves, so practice discipline at all costs.