MANILA - The cash aid for 5 million more poor Filipino families is included in the government's budget for the social amelioration program during the coronavirus crisis, Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said Monday.
Roque said the 5 million are in addition to the 18 million poor families targeted to benefit from emergency subsidies.
"Inaasahan natin na 5 milyong karagdagang pamilya ang magkakaroon ng ayuda," he said in a virtual press briefing.
(We expect that 5 million more families will receive aid.)
"I can assure you na yung ayuda na ibibigay sa additional 5 million families is within the budget given to Congress for the SAP," he added.
(I can assure you that the aid that will be given to the 5 million families is within the budget given to Congress for the SAP.)
The government has set aside a P200 billion budget to provide subsidies, ranging from P5,000 to P8,000 to poor Filipino families in 2 tranches from April until May.
It also granted the request of local government units to extend the distribution of the first tranche of subsidies.
Roque said President Rodrigo Duterte has yet to decide on how to proceed with the second tranche of subsidies given that the lockdown in parts of the Philippines was already lifted.
"Sa ngayon po, first tranche pa lang ang malinaw. Aabangan po natin ang desisyon ng Presidente para sa second tranche," Roque said.
(For now, only the first tranche is clear and we have to wait for the decision of the President on the second tranche.)
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año on Monday meanwhile said poor families in areas still under enhanced community quarantine will be prioritized for the second wave of subsidies.
"Bibigyan natin ng prayoridad yung mga nasa ECQ sa second tranche," he said.
(We will prioritize those in ECQ areas for the second tranche.)
Qualified beneficiaries who were excluded in the first tranche of cash aid will also be included in the second tranche, Año said.
"Dapat yung mga LGUs (local government units) ay mai-submit din agad yung pangalan ng mga di napasama na qualfied kasi sa second tranche ay isasama na sila at babayaran din, pati yung first month sa mga under ECQ sa second month," he said.
(The LGUs should submit the list of names of those who were qualified but excluded so that they can be included in the second tranche. For those still under ECQ for the second month, we will also pay them their subsidies for the first month.)