Distribution of second tranche of social amelioration program can start: Palace

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 25 2020 01:01 PM

Residents from Barangay Batasan Hills in Quezon City line up to receive cash under the social amelioration program amid the enhanced community quarantine on May 4, 2020. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Malacañang said Monday the distribution of the second tranche of cash aid under the social amelioration program (SAP) in light of the COVID-19 pandemic can already start as it noted that government will employ electronic means for the subsidy system.

The second round of subsidies should include 5 million more poor families and 12 million others who benefited from the first tranche of subsidies, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said.

"Puwede na pong ipamahagi yung second tranche ng SAP. So kasama na po diyan yung 5 milyon mga bagong pangalan na bibigyan ng ayuda at yung 12 milyon na dati na pong nakakuha ng ayuda during the first tranche," he said in a virtual press briefing.

(The distribution of the second tranche of SAP can start. It should include 5 million new names and 12 million beneficiaries from the first tranche.)

"Dapat po patuloy na po ang proseso, umuusad na," he added.

(The process should be starting.)

"Ang pagkakaiba po eh gagamitan na natin ng electronic ways para magbayad dun sa ating mga kababayan, at tutulong na po ang hukbong sandatahan sa pagdi-distribute ng ayuda," Roque added.

(The difference is we will now employ electronic ways to give subsidies to the people, and the military will help in the distribution.)

The government has allotted a P200-billion emergency package for poor families to help them tide over the COVID-19 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 rates in the region.

The program was later expanded to cover 5 million more families.

As of May 23, the Department of Social Welfare and Development said it has released P98.9 billion in cash aid to 17.5 million poor families under the program.

Metro Manila and many other parts of the country were placed on community quarantine beginning mid-March to curb the spread of the COVID-19.

More than 14,000 cases of the disease have been confirmed in the country, as of May 24, of which, 868 led to deaths while 3,249 have recovered.