The National Federation of Peasant Women (Amihan) and the Rural Women Advocates (RUWA) called for the temporary suspension of registration requirement for individuals and organizations conducting public solicitation activities amid COVID-19 pandemic.

The groups issued the statement following the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) advisory yesterday reminding that under the Solicitation Permit Law or the Presidential Decree No. 1564, “no person or organization shall conduct any form of solicitation in the country without first securing a permit from the DSWD.”

“Private individuals and various non-government and civil society organizations were quick to take the initiative to respond to the needs of our fellow Filipinos from the health professionals who are at the frontline of the battle to the various marginalized and poor sectors affected by lockdown,” Amihan national chairperson Zenaida Soriano said.

“While the Duterte government failed to present immediate and concrete steps to help the frontliners and the poor Filipinos, private individuals and various NGOs and CSOs helped to fill the gap, “ Soriano added.

“The DSWD and the Duterte government should realize that we are in a state of crisis where immediate response is crucial to ease the impact of the lockdown. It should focus on making the services effective and efficient and eliminate unnecessary bureaucratic steps hindering the delivery of services to the people,” she added.

“As millions of Filipinos battle poverty and hunger, the national and local government should welcome and encourage the efforts from various individuals and organizations,” Faye Cura of Rural Women Advocates (RUWA) said.

Amihan, RUWA, Pamalakaya fisherfolk group, and advocate groups Gantala Press, Me & My Veg Mouth, Sunday Smoothies and the editorial office of The Artisan, the publication of the Technological University of the Philippines (TUP) launched a relief drive for peasant families as “Food Security Frontliners” being affected by the lockdown and pandemic in Luzon.

The said drive aims to gather funds for the daily needs such as food, toiletries, multi-vitamins and other needs, of peasant families from Cagayan Valley and Bicol regions, Bataan and fisherfolk families of Cavite. ###

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