The Equal Access to Financial Assistance Ordinance: Leveling the Field for all Bacooreños

Taxpayers complain sometimes about the financial assistance that the government habitually gives to non-income tax payers, viewing the said practice as unfair. On the other hand, indigent Filipinos often complain about the requirement of public agencies for the submission of a Certificate of Indigency before they can avail of financial assistance from the government and considers the said requirement as demeaning. “Mahirap na nga kami, kailangan pa namin patunayan na totoo kaming naghihikahos,” one 4Ps (Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program) beneficiary rued to this interviewer.

                The concerns of Bacooreños in both ends of the economic divide where heard by Mayor Strike Revilla while he was still a member of the House of Representatives and it soon dawned on him that the process of granting financial assistance to city residents must not only be done expeditiously – it must also be done fairly and in a dignified manner. Thus, he requested the city council to pass an ordinance that will no longer require the submission of a Certificate of Indigency before one can avail of financial assistance from the city government.

                On July 4, 2022, the Sangguniang Panlungsod passed City Ordinance No. 206-2022 also known as the “Equal Access to Financial Assistance Ordinance” which discontinues the practice of requiring persons seeking financial assistance from the city government to first submit a Certificate of Indigency.  The ordinance also provides that subject to availability of funds, all Bacoor City residents shall have equal access to all financial assistance packages being given by the city government to those in need.“Dahil sa Ordinansang ito, ang lahat ng Bacooreño ay magkakaroon ng mas patas na pagkakataon na makatanggap ng tulong pinansyal sa ating pamahalaang lungsod at ang mga dukha nating kababayan ay hindi na kailangan pang patunayan pa ang kanilang pagiging maralita para lamang sila makatanggap ng tulong mula sa ating pamahalaan,” explained Vice Mayor Rowena Bautista-Mendiola to some city residents who attended the public hearing held prior to the approval of the ordinance.