DILG’s ‘bureaucratic restriction’ on voluntary relief hit
Manila, Philippines — “In the midst of a public health emergency, the government is having all the time in the world to impede humanitarian and charitable acts of civil society and non-government groups. What kind of priorities does our government have?” This was the reaction of the progressive group Anakpawis Party-list, to the recent order of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to charge ‘unauthorized relief volunteers’ with violation of the quarantine protocol.
The order comes after the arrest of 6 Anakpawis volunteers on April 19 while conducting relief operations in a urban poor community in Norzagaray, Bulacan. Former Anakpawis Party-list Representative Ariel Casilao, who came to their aid, was also charged with usurpation of authorities.
Calling it as “calamitous and inhumane”, Anakpawis said the restriction would cost the lives of the needy families who are enduring the impacts of the enhanced community quarantine.
“These are foods that we are delivering to the poor families who hardly make ends meet. Our beneficiary communities barely receive adequate economic aid from the government. Even with limited resources and budget, we manage to provide their temporary needs to the best that we can,” Casilao, now National Vice President of Anakpawis Party-list said in a statement.
“We are calling the public to defy this humanitarian restriction as it is both bureaucratic and a criminal neglect to the needs the poor,” ended Casilao. ###