First Posted 03:18PM 5/03/2020
NAVAL, Biliran — The Local Government Unit of this capital town of the Province of Biliran has done something which is the envy of residents of other municipalities after the mayor and the municipal council agreed to extend one sack of rice to all families disqualified to receive the Social Amelioration Program Fund here.
Some 4,133 families each received a sack of commercial rice from the LGU since Saturday, as the LGU distributed the rice in all 26 political component barangays.
Mayor Gerard Roger Espina, in an interview by Biliran Island page, said that the budget used for the procurement of the commercial rice was taken from the one month Internal Revenue Allotment provided to them by the Department of Interior and Local Government with the existence of the COVID-19 problem.
He said the LGU has received P13 million for one month allotment and they utilized at least P9 million pesos from this fund for the rice distribution. He added that at present they still have more than P5 million left from their allotment that they can use if additional assistance for the residents of this town is needed.
Mayor Espina continued that the beneficiaries of the rice included those government employees who were disqualified to receive the SAP, like the Job Order employees in the municipality and the province, who only received a meagre salary but that because they are employees they cannot accept the SAP.
He said the rice recipients also included pensioners, girlfriends of foreigners, and even those mariners and working abroad. He added that this group of recipients were carefully decided by the council and him so that these people will not go hungry during these very critical times.
Because of the complaints of the inclusion of those with foreign boyfriends and mariners abroad, Mayor Espina explained that if the Navaleño girl is not married to his foreign boyfriend, then the money she received from him is not a salary but just an allowance.
He further explained that there are really some families of this town whose children or husbands are working abroad as seamen, but because of the COVID-19 there are plenty of seamen now that failed to send money to their families because they are stranded. Thus they also have the privilege to receive the sack of rice.
Yesterday, the distribution of the sacks of rice was conducted at Brgy. P.I. Garcia, located in the heart of the municipality.