Kapuso television host Willie Revillame on Friday announced his plan to donate P5 million to jeepney drivers unable to ply their routes because of social distancing measures.
Revillame appeared at presidential spokesperson Harry Roque‘s press briefing that has been reportedly held at Wil Tower in Quezon City and mentioned his intention.
“Sa sarili kong pinag-ipunan, dahil ako naman po ay may trabaho ngayon at siyempre, napakahirap. Gusto kong tumulong una doon sa mga jeepney drivers. Sa tingin ko ito ang mga unang nangangailangan,” the longtime TV host said, as quoted by GMA News Online.
Revillame added it was not his intention to show off his wealth but to help the government with his own means.
Revillame continues to host television game show “Wowowin-Tutok to Win” amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“Ang balak ko ho ay magbigay ng P5 million ngayon, sa araw na ito, at handa ako na ibigay sa jeepney drivers na talagang namamalimos na,” he said to Roque.
“Five million (pesos) ngayon, next month magbibigay ulit ako ng five million (pesos) para doon ho sa mga tao na talagang nangangailangan. Kung kakayanin ko monthly ito, sasabihin ko kay Secretary Harry Roque,” Revillame added.
His donation would be reportedly coursed by the Palace official to the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the agency tasked to distribute the government’s cash assistance in the social amelioration program.
Roque temporarily held his press briefings at Wil Tower while the New Executive Building in Malacañang was locked down due to the COVID-19 cases among some Palace personnel.
Willie advised to give money through foundations
Some Filipinos aired their concerns on social media that Revillame will be coursing his sizeable personal donations through government agencies at a time when the leadership of a state health insurance agency is being investigated for possible graft.
Expressions of concern catapulted Revillame to enter the top trending list of local Twitter on Friday afternoon.
A Twitter user thought that Revillame should’ve coursed the donation directly to GMA Kapuso Foundation, a non-profit organization helping the underprivileged under the network’s name, or through transport groups like PISTON and FEJODAP instead.
“Ang hirap magtiwala sa government agencies ngayon. Hello Philhealth!” the online user said with a facepalm and a wave emoji.
PISTON or Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide is a transportation workers’ rights group while FEJODAP or Federation of Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association of the Philippines is an alliance of jeepney, bus, tricycle and taxi operators and drivers.
“Willie Revillame is gonna donate P5 million for the PUJ drivers na walang work ngayon… plot twist, dadaan sa kamay ng gobyerno yung pera. Magkano kaya actual na mare-receive?” another Twitter user wrote with a thinking emoji.
“Willie Revillame, salamat po. Pero may tiwala pa ho ba kayo sa gobyerno? Sana po diniretso n’yo na lang para sigurado po kayo na sa jeepney driver mapupunta ‘yung pera,” commented another online user.
“Willie R. have a TV show wherein he is giving 10k-50k every day and he donates 5m for JD (jeepney drivers)? MAHIYA KAYO PHILHEALTH!!” a Filipino exclaimed.
Former PhilHealth anti-fraud legal officer Thorrsson Keith claimed that the executives had stolen P15 billion from its funds, an allegation that was quickly denied by its current president.
“What we found at PhilHealth is the crime of the year due to the syndication of the distribution of cash advance, the interim reimbursement mechanism, and the repeated overpricing of purchased IT equipment,” Keith said in a Senate hearing on Tuesday.
PhilHealth President Ricardo Morales denied the allegations and said that Keith aired “malicious claims” after his application for higher office was denied by officers of the insurance firm.
PhilHealth’s vice president for operations Augustus de Villa tendered his resignation but said that he would continue to cooperate in the congressional hearings of the matter.