Senator Panfilo Lacson said placing the entire country under a state of calamity is timely and rational, and thus deserves the support of the Filipino people.
For one, he said it will allow the local government units as well as the national government agencies to utilize their calamity funds and Quick Response Fund, in accordance with Republic Act 10121 and other pertinent laws.
“Having said that, I cannot imagine that concerned local government officials in charge of dispensing those funds can still have the gall and malevolent intention of stealing the monies under their control, considering the seriousness of this unprecedented crisis that we are all facing,” he said.
Furthermore, the senator said the government, for all its disaster preparedness and response efforts, cannot overcome the threat by itself.
“We must all do our part, whether as workers rendering frontline services, scientists developing ways to deal with the problem, or responsible Filipinos giving support to them,” he said.
He also cited the need to show understanding and cooperation with measures from the national government and local government units.
He stressed that is no doubt we will survive this, as we have done in so many crises before.
Senator Francis Pangilinan said declaring a state of calamity is necessary in order to be able to release the P16 billion calamity fund of the national government as well as the use of calamity funds of LGUs.
While Luzon is in lockdown, Senator Nancy Binay asked the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the National Food Authority (NFA) to distribute rice and help barangays operationalize food distribution,
“Aside from COVID-19, hunger will be a re-emerging threat kung walang stable logistical infrastructure and humanitarian system na nakalatag for the next 14 to 30 days,” she said.
She aired her concern how families without enough means would be able to survive by just waiting for dole outs from government and kind-hearted individuals./Stacy Ang