Pasig jails suspects who used fake IDs to get food coupons meant for students

JC Gotinga
Pasig jails suspects who used fake IDs to get food coupons meant for students
'Gumagawa ang pamahalaan ng paraan para makatulong, tapos may manloloko at mananamantala pa?' says Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto

MANILA, Philippines – The Pasig City government on Thursday, April 16, apprehended persons caught using fake ID cards to avail of food coupons meant for public school students and their families.

“Gumagawa ang pamahalaan ng paraan para makatulong, tapos may manloloko at mananamantala pa? Kulong kayo ngayon,” said Mayor Vico Sotto on his official Facebook page. (The government is finding ways to help, then some still deceive others and take advantage? Off to jail with you.)

The incident prompted the local government to temporarily halt the distribution of the food coupons in the Nagpayong neighborhood of Barangay Pinagbuhatan, one of Pasig’s most congested areas.

Earlier this week, the city government started distributing food coupons to families of public school students. Each student is entitled to P400 worth of coupons, which they can exchange for food items at Pasig’s Mega Market, Mobile Palengke roving stores, and community markets or talipapa.

The aim is to prevent the city’s learners from becoming malnourished or their growth, stunted, as the coronavirus lockdown may prevent their parents or guardians from earning enough to buy nutritious food.

To claim their coupons, students or members of their families must present their school IDs at designated redemption booths. Those whose IDs are lost may present the student’s birth certificate, library card, or a certification from the school principal.

The students are not required to be present when claiming the coupons, as only one member of every family is allowed to leave their home during the lockdown, hence the importance of the school ID or the substitute documents.

The distribution of the food coupons comes ahead of the emergency subsidy, first from the national government and then from the city government.

On Wednesday, April 15, Sotto said the city government had yet to begin distributing the P16,000 emergency subsidy for the roughly 93,000 families on the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s list of beneficiaries.

The distribution of the city’s supplemental subsidy of P8,000 for some 160,000 resident families is expected to follow about a week afterwards.

Meanwhile, the city government has begun handing out a second ration of grocery bags to residents in poor communities, following an initial ration of a total of 400,000 food bags.

“Salamat sa mga nagpapakita ng disiplina. Halos lahat naman po ng lugar kung saan nagkaroon ng distribusyon ay naging maayos. Kung disiplinado tayo at walang manloloko, magiging maayos po ang pagbaba natin ng tulong,” Sotto said on Thursday.

(Thank you to those who show discipline. Almost all communities where there have been aid distributions were orderly. If we’re disciplined and there are no troublemakers, giving out aid will be orderly.) – Rappler.com

JC Gotinga

JC Gotinga often reports about the West Philippine Sea, the communist insurgency, and terrorism as he covers national defense and security for Rappler. He enjoys telling stories about his hometown, Pasig City. JC has worked with Al Jazeera, CNN Philippines, News5, and CBN Asia.