Former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Tuesday reiterated his call to government agencies to make the distribution of subsidies fast and simple by having the “most basic tool”: a regularly updated database of beneficiaries.
This after it was revealed during the Senate Committee on Energy’s hearing on March 14, 2022 that the number of tricycle drivers to receive fuel subsidy nationwide remains uncertain in the face of the continuous double-digit oil price hikes.
“Y’ung pinaka-basic is y’ung listahan eh. Yes, it’s true na y’ung prangkisa ng tricycle ay sa local ‘yan, but that doesn’t mean that you cannot share your database and update ‘yan at a periodic time para [hindi naantala ang ayuda],” Cayetano said in a radio interview on March 15, 2022.
(The most basic is the list of beneficiaries. Yes, it’s true that it is the local government units that issue franchises to tricycle operators, but that doesn’t mean you can’t share your database and update it at a periodic time so the distribution would not take too long.)
This way, he said, the agencies can immediately begin the payout to the majority of their respective sectors instead of passively waiting for lists from the local government units each time a financial assistance program gets enacted.
“Let’s say you have 5,000 tricycles. Kung may nagbago d’yan, [halimbawa] y’ung 500 nag-retire na bilang drivers tapos may iba nang trabaho, tapos may bagong driver na 200, that’s less than 20 percent na maaantala nang konti, but y’ung 80 percent na sila rin naman [pwede mo nang bigyan],” he said.
(Let’s say you have 5,000 tricycle drivers. Even though 500 of them retire and find another job, and 200 new drivers replace them, the remaining 80 percent are still the same names. So there will only be a slight delay on the part of the 20 percent.)
He noted how such a system has worked with his “Presyo, Trabaho, Kita” program, a nine-year long initiative that provides financial assistance to sectoral cooperatives across the country.
“Katulad ng PTK ko, nasa amin ang listahan nyan. Dati officers lang pero nung nag-pandemic, pati miyembro. So, anytime na may pondo halimbawa sa DSWD o may programa, mabilis na kasi hindi na namin hinihingi ulit sa officers,” he said.
(In my PTK program, we keep a list of our beneficiaries. At the beginning we only had the names of the cooperatives’ officers. But ever since the pandemic, we have also kept a list of all their members. So anytime a cash assistance gets issued, say by the Department of Social Welfare and Development, availment is a lot faster since we would not need to tap the officers anymore.)
He said the government agencies can eliminate red tape by simply asking the beneficiaries for virtual copies of their identification card and a photo of them receiving the cash aid.
Cayetano also appealed to heads of all agencies to “do more” and “have a better system,” especially since candidates for the upcoming elections are prohibited from using their resources to help.
“Everyone is working hard naman eh, pero sometimes your best is not good enough. So kung ‘yan ang best ng LTFRB na ituro lang y’ung local government — I know ang dami na nilang trabaho but we have to be better,” he said.
(Everyone is indeed working hard, but sometimes, your best is not good enough. I know the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board has a lot on its plate, but if its best is to point its fingers at the local government units, then we really have to be better.)
“Umaasa ang tao sa atin (Our people are relying on us). Let’s do more. Let’s be faster,” he added.