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Covid-19 doable to-dos

April 3, 2020

1. There are 1.7 million poor households in NCR most affected by lockdown. LGUs may purchase one sack of rice using their calamity fund, which is over and above the 8,000-peso financial assistance for NCR.

2. Release the cash subsidy from social amelioration of Bayanihan Act this week. It’s already delayed.

3. DSWD to update the list and advance the release of annual subsidies for the beneficiaries under the conditional cash transfer program (4Ps) this April.

4. DSWD to give the 3,600 pesos per poor family unconditional cash transfer under TRAIN law to the poor now. In 2019, 18 billion is still pending, and in 2020, 36 billion not yet given.

5. SSS / GSIS to update the list of social pension beneficiaries (retirees / social citizens), and advance the release this April.

6. DSWD to act faster than usual. DSWD should have pre-positioned food packs, sacks of rice per poor household before March lockdown. They did not do it. So do it now.

7. DOH to expedite and streamline the accreditation of testing kits and centers, and conduct mass testing, especially in areas / LGUs with high number of positive cases and PUIs. All LGUs with COVID positive cases to self-isolate and continue lockdown. Mandate use of face masks in all public places.

8. DOLE to fasttrack the release of CAMP assistance and increase TUPAD participation. Allow liberal interpretation of requirements, exercise leniency in documentation.

9. Lessen requirements/ bureaucratic tape to expedite release of funds. LGUs will not have time to deal with paperwork during crisis.

10. DA to release cash assistance of 5,000 pesos to eligible rice farmers, provide additional support for organic inputs, machinery or equipment, and link farmers with LGUs so their harvest can be purchased and made part of the household relief packages.

11. Provide frontliners with all the support needed. Provide them with the basic necessities for protection. Speedy distribution of donations, of medical supplies to hospitals/ health units. DOH to increase allowance of volunteer health workers, especially those assigned in designated COVID-referral hospitals. Provide special risk allowance for private health workers too.

12. PhilHealth to release 30 billion pesos worth of assistance to both public and private health facilities to cover the FULL cost of COVID testing and treatment.

13. DOTr and LGUs to converge and provide easy access to transportation to and from work and hospital/clinics and adequate and nutritional food supply.

14. Provide cash subsidy for self-employed individuals, contractors, and those in the informal sector (without employers). Provide loans with low interest rates for small businesses. BIR to allow deferred payment for VAT.

15. Ensure the movement of food and food products. DA to provide farm to market transportation (trucks) for farmers in the rural areas.

16. Protect commercial and residential tenants who cannot pay their rent due to COVID-19 from eviction.

17. Encourage LGUs to set up barangay-level community food gardens or mobile markets.

18. Implement the law, especially punitive provisions on rice smuggling, hoarding, or other forms of abusive practices during the pandemic.

19. Impose swift punishment for any form of discrimination or hate crime against COVID-19 positive patients, PUIs and health workers.

20. Embed transparency in all information systems. Provide real time monitoring tools of progress accessible to the general public.