What “Shared Responsibility” is about

By July 13, 2021Punchline

By Ermin Garcia Jr.


IF the Lim administration in Dagupan City is still looking for ways to give meaning to its “Shared Responsibility,” it should look no further.

The “P10K Ayuda, Ang Pag-asa” and “Sari-sari community Store”, the two advocacies of former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, are about “shared responsibility” literally in its fullest sense, and Mayor Brian Lim adopt these in the city.

In brief, “Shared Responsibility” is about government functioning as the catalyst and provider of impetus and wherewithal to improve one’s life, while the people respond and pursue the defined objectives with accountabilities for the assistance.

The two advocacies for “shared responsibility” are telling us that the time for dole-outs for the sake of providing freebies and cash to persons in need as a charitable activity must end because these don’t really help the beneficiaries. These take only a day to finish and the problem persists.

Both advocacies seek to help people learn how to fish instead of just providing fish. These have earned the support from the business sector. It’s the sector that bemoans cash dole-outs from government without any condition. The business sector, like Mr. Cayetano, would like to end the mendicancy culture being promoted in our country, the same culture invoked during election campaign period that results in vote-buying.

As believers, the successful businessmen are more than willing to give back and help meaningfully. They provide the funds with which to help Mr. Cayetano implement and promote his advocacy for livelihood and productive and responsible citizenry.

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TERMS FOR AYUDA. To accomplish the advocacy, a process is being observed for the selection of beneficiaries. Being poor is not the only criterion for qualification.  What qualifies one to be a beneficiary of Mr. Cauyetano’s “P10K Ayuda” is basically to be an entrepreneur in spirit because of the pandemic and one who has plans how he can invest P10k to start or restart a business as a livelihood. Here are the priority sectors that can qualify for the P10K Ayuda:  

  1. Poorest of the poor 2. Senior Citizens 3. Persons with Disabilities 4. Solo Parents 5. Displaced, retrenched or separated workers, or otherwise severely affected or have lost their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic, which include, but are not limited to, the following: 6. Freelancers such as entertainers, tour guides, workers in the events industry, therapists, etc. 7. Drivers of public transportation such as pedicab, tricycle, PUJs, PUVs, taxi, bus, etc. 8. Owners and workers in microenterprises such as sari-sari stores, market stalls, food carts, etc; 
  1. Farmers 10. Homeworkers including family drivers and househelpers. 11. Sub-minimum wage earners 12. Medical frontliners including 14. Barangay Health Workers 13. Families of Overseas Filipino Workers 14. Those who were not able to receive assistance through any of the Social Amelioration Programs of the national government 15. Filipino Citizens holding a Philippine National ID 16. Other members of the vulnerable sectors

 Then, prospective beneficiaries are asked: a. May-asawa na ba? Anak? Kung mayroong anak, ilan? Nagaaral? Nagtatrabaho?  b. Ano po ba ang pangarap ninyo para sa inyong sarili o pamilya? c. Ano ang pinagkukuhanan ng kita bago ang pandemya? Magkano ang kinikita? Sapat ba ito? d. Kamusta noong nagsimula ang pandemya? Ano ang mga pagsubok na kasalukuyang hinaharap? e. Ano ang pinagkakaabalahan ngayong mayroong pandemya upang makaraos sa araw-araw? f. Kung kayo po ay isa sa mapalad na makakatanggap ng sampung libong ayuda, saan ninyo po ito balak gamitin?

 So those merely expecting dole-outs simply because they are poor should look elsewhere.

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CAPITOL FOR COOPS. The Espino provincial government has been doing the same thing for years now, providing financial assistance to community and sectoral cooperatives for livelihood. The difference with Mr. Cayetano’s programs lies in the source of funds and selection of beneficiaries: 1) The provincial government allocates a budget for it while he is backed by business organizations. 2) The P1Ok Ayuda is provided during an emergency while the provincial government selects functioning cooperatives

What and how the provincial government is doing is exactly the rationale behind the House Bill that Mr. Cayetano and his allies in Congress filed: Bangon Pamilyang Pilipino Program – to assist in emergency situations. They want government to adopt their tested way of providing assistance to families whose livelihood were greatly affected, suffering from a pandemic, flood and fire disasters, volcanic eruptions and earthquakes, instead of the traditional cash dole-out programs.

Pangasinan’s  congressmen in the six districts should help campaign for the passage of that bill. In fact, a resolution from the Sangguniang Panlalawigan will help citing how the Espino provincial government’s similar program has been effectively helping communities.

It’s time to put an end to cash dole-outs.

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DAGUPAN IS STILL NO.1. The Dagupan City Hall and the Dagupan Sangguniang Panglunsod should begin to worry and wonder why the city continues to be on top of the watchlist of the Provincial Health Office.

 It is not enough for the city government to say that it is the result largely of being an urbanized community, because it is not. It is important that both know, review and understand the systems that need logistical support or processes that need to be realigned to help check the contagion in the city. Unless their authority is invoked, a broken system will never be fixed.

 The City Health Office is remarkably doing a yeoman’s job, no doubt. But it also needs more detailed analysis of the system to determine if its work will just be endless coping with what are unknown problems.

 There are two questions whose answers will greatly assist the CHO:  Where are the new cases coming from? Why?

 The day Dagupan City will be taken out from the top of the watchlist will be the day the city officials can confidently say – “We did our job!”

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DEATHS, ROAD RAGE ON HIGHWAYS. Is anyone in our towns and cities looking out for the plight of increasing number of motorcycle riders and cyclists?

Every day, there are motorcycle riders (and soon cyclists) figuring in road accidents involving speeding cars, trucks and tricycles! The common causes are ignorance of most motorcycle riders of universal traffic rules, flouting the rules on the highways, particularly overtaking from the right lane, constant battle for positions on the roads and highways.

It does not help that the police in many of our towns and cities (most of whom are riders themselves) don’t feel the need at all to even enforce the helmet law.

Then, the growing number of bicycle riders are themselves becoming serious road hazards when they think they have the right of way on roads and highways. The fact that cyclists are not licensed, they think rules and regulations on roads and highways only apply to motorists and motorcycle riders, not them.

Consequently, communities will be seeing a lot of road rage and accidents involving motorcycle riders and cyclists because of habit of their overtaking on the blind side of vehicles (the right side).  Only the adoption of bicycle/motorcycle lanes on the main streets and highways in towns and cities can prevent and correct this.

While only the LTO and police have the power and authority to prescribe traffic rules and compel compliance, nothing should stop the local governments and communities to prescribe and enforce rules in the use of a town’s or city’s roads and highways by motorists, riders and tricycle drivers and cyclists.

Without rules to observe, the roads and highways will soon only be for those who dare challenge the bullies and misfits on the road.  Then, expect to see lifeless bloodied bodies on the roads.

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