Robredo eyes P216B ‘ayuda’ fund on first 100 days if she becomes president

Vice President Leni Robredo on Thursday said her administration will earmark P216 billion worth of assistance to families reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic within her first 100 days as president if she wins in the 2022 elections.

“In our first 100 days, we will focus on addressing our most urgent problem–controlling the pandemic and mitigating its impact on our people’s lives,” Robredo said during a Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry forum.

“We will set aside P216 billion in the national budget for ayuda (aid) distribution to protect families from hunger and provide them with their basic needs without being forced to go to work,” she added.

Robredo said the first 100 days of her administration will also focus on increasing support for healthcare workers, improving hospital capacity, making COVID testing more accessible to more Filipinos, ensuring vaccines for all, and increasing the capacity of local health units to allow them to dispense vaccines on their own.

“We will not stop at vaccines: We will start stockpiling different COVID treatment medicines and deploy them to areas where there are shortages,” she said.

In addition, Robredo said her administration will step up the implementation of the Universal Health Care law within three months.

“We will accelerate the rollout of Universal Health Care by concentrating on enrolling every Filipino in the UHC system in the first three months. While people are signing up, we will start partnering with local health service providers to deliver health services,” she said.

“All of these can be done only if we rebuild trust in our institutions–and that’s exactly what we are going to do. We will put our house in order and restore confidence in the Philippine government.”

In the same forum, Robredo criticized the administration’s Build, Build, Build infrastructure program, noting that government agencies involved in it have posted low disbursement, if not underspent their budget.

She cited Department of Budget and Management records which showed that the Department of Public Works and Highways’ disbursement never exceeding 60% and the Department of Transportation’s spending is just 45% of its budget at most from 2017 to 2020.

“The point is not about building more, but about building better, making sure that quality is assured, corruption is eliminated, and the infrastructure we build actually contributes towards making the lives of the poorest and most vulnerable better,” she said.

“Our government will prioritize feasible and strategic projects that provide high impact for the Filipino people. This means shifting away from the failed car-centric public budgeting and more bus rapid transits, better service contracts for transport workers, a just transition for transport workers, protected bike lanes, bike racks, safe pathways, better bus stops, and railways for our long-term needs,” she added. –KBK, GMA News

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