Imee says ‘ayuda’ still needed

Senator Imee Marcos on Wednesday said that the country’s economy is still reeling from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, hence, financial aid from the government is still needed.

“I believe that social protection is still needed. For me, it is clear that social protection such as financial aid, subsidies to farmers, fertilizers, gas, and diesel, are still needed by the transportation sectors, farmers, senior citizens, persons with disability and marginalized families,” Marcos said.

“Let us tell them the truth: Our economy is still at its lowest — many people are still looking for jobs and those jobs were not even fine,” she added.

She made the statement after being asked whether she agrees with Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno’s remarks that the government should no longer give ayuda or dole outs, citing that the economy has already recovered.

Full mobility

“As the economy recovers and full mobility is restored, there is little justification for more Covid-19-related (financial aid),” Diokno said in a statement.

Earlier, he said that providing financial assistance or ayuda to the poor would be “a waste of public funds.”

“The Philippine economy has recovered from the unprecedented pandemic. It is now back to where it was before the Covid-19 crisis, with the opening of the economy and increasing mobility,” Diokno added.

‘Holy trinity’

Marcos also said that the government should invest more in planting onion, garlic and tomatoes, which she described as the “holy trinity of the Filipino kitchen.”

“The reason why our farmers no longer plant is that they are selling it at a low price. They are competing with China-produced garlic that although not as strong compared to locally-produced — is heavier and bigger,” she said.

“That is our problem, we are not investing in the holy trinity of the Filipino kitchen — tomatoes, garlic and onions. That is the holy trinity because no mother can cook without the three ingredients,” she added.

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