What’s the holdup? Pulong asks DOLE-11 to explain cash aid delay for trike drivers


DAVAO CITY – First District Rep. Paolo “Pulong” Duterte has asked the Department of Labor and Employment in Davao Region (DOLE-11) to explain the delay in the distribution of financial assistance for trike drivers here.

In a statement on Thursday, Duterte bared that money amounting to P20 million has been downloaded to DOLE-11 on April 29 this year for Davao City tricycle drivers and single parents who were affected by the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

The amount was supposed to benefit around 2,000 tricycle drivers and a number of single parents through DOLE’s “Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers” or Tupad.

“It’s been a month but nothing is happening yet. Why? We know the hardship being experienced by these sectors and we wanted to provide relief, that’s why we worked out the release of this budget — but it looks like the money is not being spent for its intended purpose,” he said, adding that the agency should be held accountable for its seeming inaction.

Pulong said his office learned that only 297 tricycle drivers that have been verified received the cash aid.

“One month and we are only talking about 297 drivers out of the 2,000 target. And what about the single parents? These people are experiencing unimaginable hardship these days, and the more we delay the distribution it becomes harder and harder for them,” the lawmaker pointed out.

The presidential son called on DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello to look into the matter and act on it.

“He (Bellow) should look into this matter and urgently act on this. We cannot always make excuses. If the process of verification is making the distribution slow, then there is a problem with the process and the problem has to be fixed,” Pulong said.

Meanwhile, Duterte’s office has also distributed financial assistance to 1,451 trike drivers here in coordination with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Through the Department of Health (DOH), the lawmaker’s office has also facilitated medical assistance to at least 964 patients at the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) since the Covid-19 pandemic started.

The lawmaker’s office also donated mobile patrol tricycles to 54 barangays under his congressional district recently through “Pulong-pulong ni Pulong” program, which aims to improve peace and order in the barangays by enhancing their law enforcement capability. (PNA)