Thursday, December 1Multi-awarded Filipina blogger, publicist and social media specialist
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Exactly who in Lanao del Norte, Cagayan de Oro, Davao and Caraga received the P2.7M worth of checks?

This is exactly why I sometimes dislike writing news articles based on press releases or announcements (especially those from government entities.) You really don’t get the minute details, you know that most of the time these PRs are just to “beautify” the government’s image and if you really need to get to the bottom of things, you have to exert effort and really research. Unfortunately for journalists like me, however, there really are days when you don’t have any other choice but to stick to the PR or media statement and hope that your article comes out fair, balanced and factual.

I read a rather interesting article today.”Displaced OFWs from Mindanao get P2.7M gift from Arroyo” – GMANews

The article claimed that President Gloria Arroyo handed out a total of 33 checks worth P2.7 million to displaced overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Mindanao as a way to help them rebuild their lives as entrepreneurs. The article also said that out of the 33 checks, 2 were worth P313,500 and these allegedly “went to displaced OFWs from Lanao del Norte under the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating mga Disadvantaged Workers (Tupad) project.” The news article also went on to say that when PGMA visited Cagayan de Oro Thursday, she “handed out” another check worth P573,000 to jobless residents from Lanao del Norte under the government’s Integrated Services for Livelihood Assistance for Marginalized Fisherfolk.

The remaining 30 checks worth P50,000 each were distributed to OFWs from Davao, Northern Mindanao and the Caraga region. Ten OFWs were selected from the three regions.

The main source of these data? That GMANews article cited “a statement from Malacañang” as source.

Now, IMHO, wasn’t that a very “general” statement? A couple of questions please:

– How did this Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating mga Disadvantaged Workers (Tupad) project identify the recipients of the assistance? When did the process of identifying these deserving recipients start? How much will the recipients receive? WHO are these recipients? What did these recipients propose as their entrepreneurial endeavor? Is the financial assistance considered a dole-out or will these “disadvantaged workers” pay the money back? For how long should these recipients pay the amount back if ever?

– What is the Integrated Services for Livelihood Assistance for Marginalized Fisherfolk? How come they were tapped to “assist” displaced OFWs? I mean, really, from the name alone — marginalized fisherfolk — fisherfolk! Does this mean that the fund recipients were part of a fisherfolk community in Lanao del Norte? Does this mean that the recipients were part of a coastal community in Lanao del Norte or somewhere else?

– How come only TEN recipients were selected from THREE regions (large ones at that!)? Ten is nothing compared to the TENS OF THOUSANDS of Filipino overseas workers who have now lost their jobs. I mean, seriously, what’s TEN? Nonetheless, I’m also interested to know exactly WHO these ten people are and how they were identified as probable recipients of P50,000 each.

I’m sure the TENS OF THOUSANDS of displaced overseas Filipino workers would like to know, too.

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