Task force OKs guidelines on COVID-19 social amelioration measures

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 28 2020 12:44 PM

People wait for relief food packs in barangay San Miguel in Pasig City on March 26, 2020. Some local village chiefs and their constituents face challenges of delivery of relief packs, many in these neighborhoods have just received their first relief pack 11-days into the quarantine. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Governments's Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases has approved a joint memorandum circular on social amelioration measures amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, an official said Saturday.

Local government units are ordered to submit a database of beneficiaries to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said during the "Laging Handa" public briefing.

The DSWD is also tasked to host the database for the COVID-19 social amelioration program of the government, he added.

"Hihingin naman ang tulong ng mga barangay. Ang listahan ng beneficiaries ay manggagaling sa barangay captains. Sana wala nang politika. Tapos na po ang eleksyon," Malaya said.

(We are asking the help of barangays. The list of beneficiaries will come from the barangay captains. I hope there's no more politicking. Elections have already ended.)

The joint memorandum circular was approved by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), DSWD, Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Trade and Industry, (DTI), and the Department of Finance (DOF).

The social amelioration program is line with the "Bayanihan to Heal as One Act," which grants the executive department with special powers "to effectively respond to the challenges caused by the COVID-19 global pandemic."

Under the program, some 18 million poor Filipino families will receive cash aid for 2 months. This as millions are expected to lose livelihood with lockdowns enforced in Luzon and other parts of the country as a disease control measure. 

Under the stimulus law, the monthly subsidies range from P5,000 to P8,000 per family and should be computed based on the prevailing regional minimum wage.