SWS: 7 in 10 Filipino families got government cash aid amid COVID-19 pandemic

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 14 2020 06:33 PM | Updated as of Oct 14 2020 06:34 PM

Beneficiaries of government's Social Amelioration Program line up and process their details as employees of the San Juan City Social Welfare and Development office try to reconcile the codes used for the distribution of the cash aid, Aug. 28, 2020. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA— Seven in 10 Filipino families received cash aid from the government during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a recent poll by the Social Weather Stations (SWS).

Out of 1,249 adults polled from Sept. 17 to 20, 71 percent said their families got cash subsidy, SWS said Tuesday.

"This hardly changed from the 72 percent in July 2020, implying that there has been no increase in the recipients of government’s cash subsidy between July and September 2020," said the pollster.

Of those who said they received aid, 67 percent said they got aid from government once, and 29 percent twice. The remaining 2 percent received it thrice, 1 percent received it 4 times, and 0.21 percent received it 5 times, said SWS.

Beneficiaries received an average of P7,531. This is P943 above the average total of P6,588.17 cash aid received by families in July 2020, the survey found.

The SWS survey was probability-based and done using mobile phone and computer-assisted telephone interviewing. It had a sampling error margin of ±3 percent for national percentages.

The survey "proves that government help has reached and has been felt by a great number of our people," said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.

"This is indeed a fulfillment of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s vow to make up for the loss of economic opportunities when quarantine measures were imposed," he said in a statement.

The primary recipients of aid "are the most vulnerable sectors and those severely affected by the lockdown," he added.

Roque earlier said the cash aid was a factor in why 9 in 10 Filipinos approved of President Rodrigo Duterte's pandemic response in a recent Pulse Asia poll.

The administration distributed a "record-breaking" P200-billion cash aid during the health crisis, on top of assistance under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program and the small business subsidy program, he said.

"Napakalaki talagang halaga na galing sa kaban ng bayan ang ibinigay natin sa ating mga kababayan sa panahon ng pandemya. Ang Pilipino, napakagaling po iyang tumanaw ng utang na loob," he told TeleRadyo.

(The amount from public coffers that we gave to our compatriots during the pandemic is very high. Filipinos are good in returning their debt of gratitude.)