Today on What The Hell Are Government Officials Talking About: Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya says subdivision residents should not expect help from the government. Cue the collective “huh?”
Malaya made the statement live on a DZMM Radyo interview on Mar. 25, saying, “Yung mga nasa subdivision, nakatira naman tayo sa subdivision, bakit pa tayo hihingi sa gobyerno?” In addition, he also mirrors the sentiment for citizens with “comfortable lifestyles.” “Let me just emphasize, yung ibang maganda naman ang buhay, ‘wag na po tayong maghintay ng tulong sa gobyerno kasi maganda naman buhay niyo,” he said.
— DZMM TeleRadyo (@DZMMTeleRadyo) March 25, 2020
Here’s some things we’d like to emphasize, Mr. Malaya. First of all, residents of subdivisions are taxpayers, meaning they contributed to that very budget you’re using for the COVID-19 response. Second, even senators are being serviced (and very well so, might we add). Why should residents of subdivisions be paid any less attention to if it’s class we’re talking about?
“Ang inuuna po ng gobyerno ‘yung mga isang kayod, isang tuka… ‘yung mga arawan na hindi makapag-trabaho, ‘yung mga nasa TODA, ‘yung mga nagtratrabaho sa palengke na hindi makapasok, ‘yun po ang inuuna namin,” Malaya added. There’s no problem in that—it’s a justified strategy. But the DILG should not forget that every Filipino citizen has the right to be protected by the government, just like it swore to do.
It’s an irresponsible statement to make in a time of national crisis. It’s also the opposite of comforting, which is one of the jobs the government should do in such a time. If we all aren’t equal in the eyes of the government, how can we expect to be taken care of?
If you have resources to spare, here are organizations you can donate to. Help alleviate our countrymen’s struggles during the COVID-19 crisis.
Photo from Canadian Inquirer