EDITORIAL - Leave politics behind in the distribution of aid
(The Freeman) - March 29, 2020 - 12:00am

In some places in the country where total lockdown is now being enforced due to COVID-19, it has become the job of barangay officials and workers to distribute food and other items residents will need as they stay in their homes for the duration of the lockdown.

Already, there are some reports of some barangay officials and workers favoring families of friends or those with similar political affiliations, or requiring voter’s ID, and other such documents before they can be given aid.

To clarify, there have been no reports of this happening yet in Cebu City or any part of Cebu Province, and we hope it doesn’t come to this.

Barangay officials, like their counterparts in higher offices, are expected to serve everyone equally, regardless of relationship or political affiliation. This is why the law has gone to the extent of supposedly removing the influence of big political parties when it comes to barangay elections.

That’s the ideal scenario, anyway. But we all know that the big political maneuvers that characterize town, city, and province politics always finds its way down to the barangays.

Even then, now is not the time for barangay officials and workers to make political statements, or to impress political patrons, much less to get back at someone for some perceived offense, or for being on the opposing side during the last polls.

Unlike some unscrupulous barangay officials, the virus will not recognize political affiliation.

Whether he or she realizes it or not, the barangay official or worker will become the only lifeline a desperate family may have. They will become the only people standing between order and chaos. And you can be sure hungry and angry people can cause unspeakable chaos. Such a responsibility shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Let’s hope our barangay officials here can get over party affiliations should it become necessary for them to start distributing aid to people who can no longer leave their homes. Because if things don’t improve with this enhanced community quarantine we are currently under, in all likelihood the authorities may opt for a total lockdown.

AID POLITICS
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