Roque: As lockdown eases, government to stop COVID-19 cash aid in June

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 30 2020 11:52 PM

Residents queue during the distribution of cash assistance during Social Amelioration Program in BASECO, Manila on May 7, 2020. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA--Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque on Saturday said there would be no more cash assistance for low-income families in June, as more industries will be allowed to reopen under a relaxed general quarantine.

“Itong buwan ng Hunyo dahil lahat po tayo ay nasa GCQ [general community quarantine] na ay wala pong ayuda,” he said during the Laging Handa public briefing aired over the state-run television.

(For the month of June, since we are under GCQ, there will be no more cash aid.)

But Roque stressed that the second tranche of the government’s Social Amelioration Program (SAP) would still be handed out to qualified beneficiaries, even those under relaxed lockdown rules.

“Lilinawin ko po, ‘yung pangalawang buwan ng ayuda sa SAP, 12 million po ‘yan, ibibigay pa rin doon sa mga nakatira sa mga lugar na nanatiling ECQ [enhanced community quarantine] or MECQ [modified enhanced community quarantine],” he said.

(I want to be clear. For the second tranche of the SAP, the 12 million beneficiaries under ECQ or MECQ will still receive subsidy.)

As large parts of the country transition into GCQ next week, Roque said stricter lockdowns could still be imposed per city, town or barangay.

“Dapat merong pagsang-ayon ng local na IATF [Inter-Agency Task Force],” he said.

(It should be authorized by the local IATF.)

The government has allotted a P200-billion emergency package for low-income families to help them weather the health crisis as economic activities were brought to a grinding halt.

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.