5 million more Filipinos to receive first tranche of COVID-19 cash aid – Palace

Davinci Maru, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 02 2020 02:58 PM | Updated as of May 02 2020 04:27 PM

Residents receive cash assistance as part of the government's Social Amelioration Program in Malibay in Pasay City on May 1, 2020. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA (UPDATE) – Some 5 million more Filipinos are set to receive emergency subsidy from the first tranche of the government’s Social Amelioration Program (SAP) during the COVID-19 crisis, Malacañang said Saturday.

This is in addition to 18 million low-income families targeted by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to benefit from the program, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said.

“Ipapatupad po natin ‘yong kagustuhan ni Presidente na lahat ng nangangailangan ng tulong ay magkakaroon ng tulong doon sa first tranche ng SAP,” he said in a Laging Handa public briefing.

(We will implement what the President wants, which is to provide assistance to those in need in the first tranche of SAP.)

The government has allotted a P200-billion emergency package for poor families to help them weather the crisis.

Under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, each beneficiary will receive cash aid ranging between P5,000 and P8,000 twice (April and May) based on minimum wage in the region.

Roque said it was the government’s way of making amends after the cash distribution was hampered by delays.

“Ito’y patunay na unang-una tumutupad sa pangako ang ating presidente. Sinabi niya, lahat ng nangangailan ay mabibigyan,” he said.

(This is proof that the President fulfills his promises. He said all those in need will be given assistance.)

“Alam ng ating presidente kung gaano kahirap ang buhay sa ilalim ng ECQ,” he added.

(The President knows how hard life is under the enhanced community quarantine.)

‘LEFT-OUT FAMILIES’

As of Saturday, the government has provided 11 million families with the financial assistance, Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said.

Among those who benefitted from the program were members of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) and public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers in the National Capital Region, Malaya said in the same public briefing.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has also given local governments units (LGUs) until May 7 to finish the April payouts.

As to the million more additional beneficiaries, the DILG is waiting for guidelines from DSWD, Malaya said.

“‘Yong mga left-out families na tinatawag, na sinasabi nila na kailangan kuwalipikado sila sa programa ngunit hindi sila naisama sa unang bugso ng Social Amelioration Program,” he said.

(Those so-called left-out families, who said they are qualified for the program, but didn’t receive financial assistance from the first tranche of the Social Amelioration Program.)

The original 18-million target beneficiary was based on the 2015 census.

The government stressed that those belonging in the informal and vulnerable sectors are prioritized in the program.

Under the DSWD omnibus guidelines, the following are excluded from SAP:

  •  Elected and appointed government officials such as permanent, contractual, casual, coterminous or personnel contracted (under Memorandum of Agreement, Cost of Service, Job Order, and other similar arrangements) in any National Government Agency (NGA), Government-owned and Controlled Corporation, Local Government Unit, and GOCC with original charter Employees in the private sector, or those in the formal economy, including those who are employees of GOCC without original charters, regardless of the existence of employee-employer relationship, and regardless of the fact that they are receiving salary or wage;
  •  Retired individuals who are receiving pension;
  •  Families with independent financial capacity consistent with the intent of RA 11469 to provide assistance to low income families.