The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) 13 (Caraga) lauded the honesty and compassion shown by a farmer who waived his right to receive cash aid in favor of those more affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) crisis.

In a statement on May 8, 2020, the DSWD-13 identified the farmer as Romeo Demaymay, 60, of Barangay Cuyago, Jabonga, Agusan del Norte.

“Manong Romeo is qualified as one of the recipients for SAP (social amelioration program), specifically the emergency subsidy program (ESP) of the DSWD, implemented in partnership with the local government unit (LGU) of Jabonga,” the regional social welfare office said.

Top photo: GENEROUS FARMER. The family of Romeo Demaymay, 60, a farmer from Barangay Cuyago, Jabonga, Agusan del Norte, is shown in this undated photo. The Department of Social Welfare and Development 13 (Caraga) on Friday (May 8, 2020) lauded the compassion shown by Mang Romeo by waiving his right to receive cash assistance in favor of other residents who need the aid most. (Photo courtesy of DSWD-13)

Upon seeing that majority of the people were clamoring to be part of the ESP, he opted not to accept the aid, it said.

“Manong Romeo instead told their barangay officials to give it to someone who really needs the cash subsidy the most,” DSWD-13 said in the statement.

“As long as you can still work, and as long as you still have resources that you can use, try not to demand from (the) government for aid. The government has still a lot of matters to attend to and expenses to take care of,” he was quoted as saying in the dialect by the DSWD-13.

The municipality of Jabonga has a total of 4,365 families who received the PHP5,000 ESP, given to the most affected families following the imposition of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

The DSWD-13 said of the total number of families who received the financial aid from the government, 2,143 were recipients of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) while the other 2,222 were not 4Ps beneficiaries.

It said Manong Romeo was convinced by the barangay captain and representatives of the DSWD in Jabonga to receive the PHP5,000 cash aid through the SAP during the distribution in the last week of April but he refused the same.

“I am a farmer. Right now, I can still do some farming, I still have some crops to harvest, and I can still provide for the needs of my family. I know there are families who need this aid more than me, so they should be the ones who should get it,” Manong Romeo said, as quoted by DSWD-13. (Alexander Lopez, PNA)