MANILA – Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles clarified Wednesday that beneficiaries of the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), as well as pensioners, would still receive the two-month emergency subsidy.
Nograles made the clarification after his earlier pronouncement has sown confusion among the public.
It was reported on Monday that 4Ps beneficiaries and pensioners are no longer included in the national government’s Social Amelioration Program (SAP).
In a virtual press briefing aired on state-run PTV-4, Nograles said he only meant that 4Ps recipients and senior citizens with a monthly pension are no longer required to get a social amelioration card.
“Ang ibig ko pong sabihin, excluded sila sa social amelioration card (What I meant is they are excluded from getting a social amelioration card),” he explained. “Siyempre, sila ang nangangailangan. Kasama sila sa Social Amelioration Program natin (Of course, they need assistance. They are part of the Social Amelioration Program).”
Around PHP200 billion would be allocated for SAP to help the 18 million poor households affected by the measures imposed to combat coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic in the country.
Under SAP, those who are eligible to receive emergency subsidy are the underprivileged sector and homeless families, indigent indigenous peoples, and other vulnerable groups; workers in the informal sector or self-employed; rice farmers; senior citizens; person with a disability; pregnant or lactating woman; solo parent; and distressed overseas Filipino workers.
Local government units (LGUs) are mandated to submit their database of target beneficiaries to the national government and distribute social amelioration cards to the poor families.
Low-income households from Metro Manila, Cordillera Administrative Region, Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao already received their emergency subsidies on April 3.
Poor families from Mimaropa, Bicol Region, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, and the Zamboanga Peninsula got their emergency relief on April 4, while beneficiaries from Eastern Visayas, Northern Mindanao, Davao Region, and Soccsksargen, received the aid on April 5.
Nograles said LGUs in Metro Manila vowed to submit the list of families not included in the initial roster of beneficiaries at the “soonest time possible.”
He also ensured that the government, through the group formed by Duterte, is looking into the concerns over the implementation of SAP.
“Government will endeavor to help everyone, and those of our countrymen who need the most assistance will get the most help,” he said.
Nograles also reiterated that the government is still studying the proposal to grant cash aid to middle-class families.
He said the government needs to identify first who are the families belonging to the middle class and what programs can be offered to them.
“So iba’t ibang ahensya, iba-iba yung packages na binibigay nila. That being said, ano ba ang programa para sa middle class? So yung ang pag-uusapan natin (We have different government agencies and they are offering different packages. That being said, what programs can be offered to the middle class? We will talk about that),” Nograles said. (PNA)