Press Release
August 11, 2021

'Nationalizing' ayuda distribution bad for people, nat'l gov't

Big cities like Manila have the "boots on the ground and the muscle memory" to conduct large scale distribution of aid, whether in cash or in kind, "complex operations which understaffed national agencies may find hard to do on their own," Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said.

"The best is still a bayanihan between the local and national governments," Recto said.

He added that it is irrational for the central government to "nationalize an activity" which is best done with local government participation.

Local governments, he said, have the warm bodies and the command structure to bring aid to as many people as quickly as possible.

"Yung big cities and provinces have division size personnel. Tapos papalitan mo ng isang platoon of clueless people who don't know the terrain," Recto said.

"Mas kabisado ng city hall people ang mga kasuluk-sulukan ng kanilang lugar, pati mga eskinita saulado, kaysa naman doon sa mga central office bureaucrats," he added.

He said the national government actually saves time and money in "pasa loading work to local governments."

Maintaining the national government-local government partnership, Recto pointed out, "saves the national government from embarrassment if the job it has assumed to do on its own will end up a flop."

"In this current case of Manila, baka sa Malacañang pumila ang mga tao kung may aberya sa pagbibigay ng ayuda," he said.

But the biggest disaster, he warns, is that aid that the people should be receiving during the no-work quarantine will be delayed.

"The City of Manila has been delivering almost a million boxes of food to homes of their residents for some months. Hindi naman air dropped ito. May organization, may method. Tapos papalitan?" he said.

Manila, he added, in "bilis-kilos fashion" built a 344-bed field hospital in seven weeks, "and I do not know of a comparable feat done by DOH."

"It was able to build condominiums for the poor in the middle of the pandemic. Mayroon bang ganoong klaseng direct shelter production ang national government na pwedeng ipagmayabang?" he said.

"If Manila was able to pull off these big ticket projects, then distributing aid to its own people is just another day in the office for them," Recto said.

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