The Palace announced that government assistance through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19, will be given to locally stranded individuals (LSIs) while they await for the resumption of public transportation going to their home provinces.
The Palace also sent its sympathy to the family of Michelle Silvertino who, according to reports, was living in a sidewalk before she passed away while waiting for a trip that will take her home.
“Nakikiramay po kami dun sa pamilya ni Michelle Silvertino na binawian ng buhay habang naghihintay ng masasakyan pauwi sa probinsiya. Nakipag-coordinate na po ang DSWD sa kanilang Field Office para ma-assist ang pamilya ni Michelle,” said Secretary Harry Roque Jr. in his June 11 media briefing.
The Presidential Spokesperson also assured the public that there would be no repeat of the incident. “Nagsimula na po ang DSWD-NCR na tulungan ang mga stranded noong isang linggo pa. May mga estudyante rin po na tinutulungan nating makauwi,” said Secretary Roque.
The Palace official also called on local government units to bring to the attention of the DSWD or the national government any LSIs that they may see in their localities, especially near airports or bus stations, so that they can be properly assisted.
“Now dahil nga po dito sa nangyari kay Michelle mayron na po tayong bagong polisiya na tutulungan ng gobyerno ang lahat ng stranded, yung mga nasa airport at sa mga bus [stations]. Inaasikaso na po ito ng DOTr. Dadalhin po ang mga stranded dun sa area ng airport at saka dyan sa mga bus [stations] sa Pasay, sa Villamor Golf Course for rapid testing,” said Secretary Roque.
The President’s spokesman also reminded everyone to be vigilant and be wary of those who might take advantage of someone’s situation, especially those who are stranded in airports and bus stations.
“Ang mga nakita natin locally stranded persons ay nagiging biktima ng panloloko, pinapangakuan po ng trabaho sa ibang bansa at sinasabihan pumunta sa airport para sa kanilang flights. Mag-ingat po tayo sa ganyan. Huwag po tayong maniwala, ‘wag tayong magtiwala,” warned Sec. Roque.
He also issued a stern warning to the illegal recruiters who continue with their illegal activities. He said that the government is aware of the said illegal activities and that the government knows who they are. “Itigil nyo yan po dahil kilala po natin kung sino kayo. Kalaboso po kayo,” said the Spokesperson.
In the same media briefing, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Acting Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua said that the country’s economy is now on its way back to normalcy, with around 75 percent of various sectors of the economy now operational. The acting NEDA chief said that the remaining 25 percent of the economy that are not yet allowed to open are those industries not yet allowed under the general community quarantine, like leisure activities, tourism, and other non-essential sectors.
Acting Secretary Chua also presented the government’s phased and active recovery program or approach for the economy, which has three stages: emergency, recovery, and resiliency. The first stage or the emergency phase was from March to May 2020 and was supported by the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act. This was characterized by budget and procurement flexibility, subsidy to poor and low income, small business support, support to key sectors and frontliners, and health system, capacity, and insurance.
The country is currently in the recovery stage, according to Sec. Chua, which is characterized by budget and procurement flexibility, reprioritization of the 2020 budget, priority resumption of the Build Build Build program, demand side to raise income and create jobs, supply side to support firms, and targeted tax incentives.
Meanwhile, the third stage will start in 2021 which revolves around the plan to have a healthy and resilient Philippines. The third stage will be characterized by a re-orientation of the 2021 and 2022 budgets, structural reforms to turn crisis into opportunity to prepare for the new normal, and support to balanced regional development through the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa Program. ### OPS-PCOO