Friday, November 10, 2023

Welfarism 37, On endless aid and freebies

Early this week I got a call from a neighbor that there will be "ayuda" or aid from the Barangay, perhaps a way of "thank you" from the current Brgy officials who were reelected in the Brgy elections last week Oct. 30? I don't know. Just one requirement, I was told -- photocopy of any government-issued ID back to back, signed. Another neighbor offered to submit my ID photo along with theirs, so no more hassle on my part.

Then yesterday my neighbor said I must go to the Barangay hall myself to get a QR code as prerequisite for the ayuda, but I better go there by evening due to long queu of people, and gave me back my ID photo. It would be a hassle for me to go to the barangay hall at night but since I'm an economic researcher of public finance, I was curious -- what is this Barangay ayuda?

So I went to the barangay hall last night past 9pm to get that QR code. I was surprised there were still many people queuing. Since I'm a senior citizen already, a barangay staff got my ID photo and submitted it to another staff. 

Then I was given a "Barangay Indigency" certficate. Haaa? Then I was ushered to another table to get the QR code, I got it within minutes.

Only when I saw the QR code paper that I realized it was not a Barangay captain ayuda but a DSWD ayuda, cash plus rice. The House of Representatives and "Bagong Pilipinas" also in the QR code paper. First time I heard or saw this "New Philippines."

While inside the barangay hall, I noticed that the staff were helpful enough, endured long day work. Barangay Captain Cajes was still there, and one guy who was sort of "makulit" asking many questions, Mr. Cajes himself answered his questions, explained other matters. Good guy.

I left the Barangay hall almost 10pm, the Barangay Capt. also left that time, I saw him board his van. 

Ok, since I don't consider myself an indigent -- am not rich but not indigent either -- I said I won't get that aid. But I will observe the next day the process of ayuda distribution. 

This afternoon past 2pm I went to the barangay complex, I was surprised at the long queu of people. These are folks from other barangays of Makati, DSWD simply centralized the distribution in our barangay hall because it's new and large.

On the opposite end of the road, there were soooo many motorcycles and tricycles. I saw people carrying half-cavan or 25-kilos rice. Ok, so they need tricycles to transport the rice to their houses.

Inside the barangay complex.

I asked one staff, what is given away by DSWD? He replied a sack of 25-kilos rice plus P1,050 cash. But recipients must fill up these two forms, and have two photocopies of the "Barangay Indigency" certificate.

I thanked the staff then I left and went back home. These two forms, DSWD and many other government agencies harvesting more info from the people.

Some recent reports this year in BusinessWorld about DSWD:

"Cash program to be expanded by gov’t" (August 15),
"Gov’t told to include more Pinoys in cash transfer program" (August 17),
"Gov’t to distribute cash aid to sari-sari stores, Sept. 25-29" (September 24).

I hope that more citizen self-reliance, not citizen dependence on government, will be realized by more people in this country.

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