17 million families to benefit from second tranche of COVID-19 cash aid: Palace


Posted at May 23 2020 01:29 PM

MANILA - An estimated 17 million families are set to receive the second tranche of aid under government's social amelioration program (SAP), a Malacañang memorandum released Saturday showed. 

In a May 22 memo issued by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, among those who will receive the cash aid are 5 million families listed as beneficiaries but were not able to receive the first tranche of aid.

The other 12 million beneficiaries will be coming from places which remain under the enhanced community quarantine, Medialdea said, citing stricter lockdown protocols in these areas, but families in places under looser quarantine restrictions may still qualify. 

"While it is only natural that most beneficiaries would come from those still living in enhanced community quarantine areas, as stricter kinds of community quarantine deprive more people of means of support, household beneficiaries most affected by continuing restrictions in the operation of certain industries and sectors in areas under a general community quarantine may still be considered for the second tranche," read the memo addressed to Cabinet members. 

Currently, the cities of Cebu and Mandaue, plus 10 barangays in Navotas City, remain under enhanced community quarantine. Metro Manila, Laguna and several parts of Central Luzon are under a modified lockdown, while the rest of the country is under GCQ. 

Businesses in the metropolis and other MECQ areas have been allowed to reopen at 50-percent capacity, but many remain out of livelihood. 

Medialdea also directed the Department of Social Welfare and Development to hasten the development of an online portal that will make the list of qualified SAP beneficiaries accessible via the Internet. 

This will contain information about the beneficiary, while considering measures set by the Data Privacy Act. 

The public was also urged to give a feedback on the portal for the government to properly assess if cash aid is distributed properly among constituents. 

“The online portal must include a mechanism to receive feedback from the public to assist the government in assessing its performance in delivering the assistance, determining whether an investigation against specific persons is necessary, and identifying persons and areas that were not covered,” he added. 

The distribution of cash aid in some areas were marred by reports of corruption, with local officials investigated for supposedly taking cuts from the cash aid. 

Other local governments drew flak as the SAP distribution in their areas prompted residents to gather en masse, violating physical distancing requirements. 

Government set cash aid of P5,000 to P8,000 for millions of Filipinos for April and May as families lost sources of income due to work and travel restrictions enforced to contain the coronavirus outbreak. 

-- Report from Arra Perez, ABS-CBN News