Gov't agencies to sign joint circular on emergency subsidy for low income families

Vivienne Gulla, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 27 2020 08:40 PM

Rickshaws block a street from outsiders to protect a neighborhood from the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Manila, Philippines, March 24, 2020. Eloisa Lopez, Reuters


MANILA - Government agencies are expected to sign on Friday a joint memorandum circular on the implementation of a law mandating the P5,000 to P8,000 monthly emergency subsidy for 18 million poor households for two months. 

The measure seeks to help defray the expenses of low income families amid the enhanced community quarantine implemented by the government to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, the emergency subsidy will be computed based on prevailing minimum wage rates. But the computation will also take into consideration the amount of subsidy that existing beneficiaries already get under the Department of Social Welfare and Development's (DSWD) current conditional cash transfer program and rice subsidy.

The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) said local government units and barangays will help identify the recipients of the emergency subsidy. The DSWD will then verify the list.

“Those who are part of the informal economy. Those who are no work no pay. Those who are isang kahig, isang tuka. These are the people we want to help,” DILG Spokesperson, Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said.

“Sa barangay, alam nila ‘yan (At barangays, they know that). They know the people there who fall under what is called the informal sector."

Malaya said those who are affected include tricycle drivers, jeepney drivers, Grab drivers, Angkas drivers, and market vendors, and micro enterprisers.

The DILG warned local officials against politicizing the identification of beneficiaries for the emergency subsidy.

“’Wag silang eepal dito (They shouldn't show off), because now is not the time for politics. And we will also remind them that under this law… LGU officials disobeying national government policies or directives can be imprisoned for up to 2 months or a fine of not more than P1 million, or both,” he said, adding that the DILG has monitoring teams on the ground.

Residents may raise their concerns to the DILG field office, or to the agency’s hotline numbers: 09274226300, 09150054535, 09617721668, 09613849272, (02) 8763454 loc. 8801-8815.