Poor’s blood suckers

IT’s terribly disgusting that there are still these crooked and opportunist individuals or groups who have penchant for fooling those who are already less fortunate in life.

Take for example these bogus groups whose members would roam around every barangays in Valenzuela City posing as agents for a pro-poor national government program and entice unsuspecting and less knowledgeable residents to enlist in exchange for cash.

Actually, they can easily convince these hapless residents because they make it appear that the P400 to P500 they’re demanding is supposedly for the “processing fees” when in fact there’s no such thing as it’s the government’s poverty alleviation program that’s designed for the poor and does not require fees in order to be part of it.

Though no single individual has been caught, the city government led by Mayor Win Gatchalian is quick enough to inform his constituents by creating a special monitoring team as he seeks the help of barangay officials to check the modus operandi and possibly catch the fraudulent individuals.

City Social Welfare Development Office chief Dorothy Evangelista, whose unit is the first to expose the sinister schemes, says the government’s “Pantawid sa Pamilyang Pilipino Program” (4Ps) is primarily aimed at helping people in need and not to get money of any amount from them. “These fraudulent elements would like to take advantage of the underprivileged Valenzuelano’s situation and that is something we at the city government, especially the mayor, cannot tolerate,” she says.

The city government calls on the residents to report similar incidents to the mayor’s office or at the DSWD head office at 931-8101 to 931-8107.
4Ps beneficiaries stand to receive a regular financial aid for five years from the government under strict terms that would compel them to avail various health and educational programs in their localities. As of December 2010, there were 1,232 official household beneficiaries in the city and additional 2, 097 potential beneficiaries in the city’s villages where there are “saturated packets of poverty” have been identified through the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction.

Bistek with special kids

Over the weekend, QC Mayor Bistek Bautista kept this worth-emulating tradition when he and other key city officials treated some 2, 500 special kids at the Children’s Camp in Balara Filter Plant a day earlier before the celebration of Valentine’s Day as part of its support to improve the plight of children with special needs.

Dubbed: Camp Pag-ibig, it featured various outdoor camping activities as well as musical and entertainment presentations designed to improve further the socialization skills of the participants for their successful integration into the mainstream of community development.

Hosting Camp Pag-ibig for the last 19 years, Bistek could not hide his happiness as he’s given a chance to lead in spreading the gift of love to children with special needs.

So overwhelmed by his concerns for them, the city chief executive even formed the QC special children’s board o protect and promote the well-being of children with special needs. The board, in which he sits as chairman, is mandated to adopt various initiatives needed or developing a comprehensive coordinated system of care delivery for children with special needs in the city.

Bistek just did the right thing when he seeks for an over-all accounting of all special children to meet the proportionate student-teacher ratio and to hire more special education teachers if needed to fit the total number of children with special needs in the city. –Arlie Calalo

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