MANILA - Eleanor Tala came all the way from Ilocos province to see her parents in Manila who are sick and in need of medical assistance. She said she borrowed money for fare just to get to the Department of Social Welfare and Development branch in Manila to seek financial help.
But unfortunately for Tala, she didn't make the cut on Thursday.
"Gusto ko po sana makita mga magulang ko. Wala pong makain, namamalimos lang po sila. Ibili ko sila gamot kasi maraming sakit," she said.
Sixty-five year old Pedrito Pestejo, meanwhile, was surprised at the long queue outside the DSWD branch in Legarda. He said he usually goes to the social welfare office every three months to ask for medical assistance.
But, just like Tala, he also didn't make the cut even though he arrived as early as 6 a.m.
"Ngayon lang po dumami, humaba pila. Paikot eh. Kung ako lang tanungin, dapat bibigyan nila ng number yung mga nahuling nakapila para kinabukasan, 'di na mahirapan pumila (at) paunahin na," said Pestejo.
His suggestion did not fall on deaf ears as DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian ordered a numbering system to be implemented immediately.
Gatchalian explained, "We are already instituting starting today a numbering system wherein 'pag cut off mo na, bibigay na namin number for the following day, the following day, the following day. Para yung mga tao hindi sila yung bukas babalik ulit nang walang inaasahan. So you comeback when your number is being called."
The numbering system proved to be effective as the long queues outside the Quezon city and Manila offices were gone by 2 p.m.
But Lynn Leyte, who came from Norzagaray, Bulacan, is opting to camp out overnight even though she already got a number Friday.
"Dahil malayo po bahay namin, dito na lang kami," she said.
Gatchalian said they will also implement measures that will make the distribution of financial help more convenient and efficient.
They plan to open satellite offices around Metro Manila to make it accessible to the recipients. They will also make the application online and the disbursement of the aid digitally.
FROM THE ARCHIVE