Sat. Jul 24th, 2021

MANILA – The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) will discuss the possible continuation of distribution of emergency cash subsidies to poor families residing in areas that will be placed under general community quarantine (GCQ), Malacañang said on Wednesday.

The IATF-EID’s decision on the granting of cash aid to low-income households in areas under GCQ will be announced on Thursday (April 30) Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a television interview.

“Lilinawin natin ‘yan dahil doon sa initial na approval ng IATF ay hanggang maari ay titignan kung paano mabibigyan ng prayoridad yung mga areas na nasa ECQ (enhanced community quarantine). Pero ‘yan po ay isasapinal at iaanunsyo natin bukas (That will be clarified because the IATF initially approved the proposal to give priority to those in areas under ECQ. The decision will be finalized and announced tomorrow),” Roque said.

Last April 24, Roque said poor families living in areas where ECQ has been lifted will no longer receive the cash aid under the Social Amelioration Program (SAP).

Meanwhile, low-income households in areas under ECQ can still expect continued distribution of emergency cash subsidies, he added.

However, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rolando Bautista on April 27 said SAP beneficiaries in areas that will be placed under GCQ beginning May 1 will continue to receive the cash relief from the national government.

Under Republic Act 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, around 18 million poor families will receive monthly emergency subsidies worth PHP5,000 to PHP8,000 for April and May.

Only 8.7 million of the 18 million beneficiaries have so far received the cash aid, according to the SAP Monitoring Dash Board for Emergency Subsidy uploaded on the DSWD official website.

In another TV interview, Roque said President Rodrigo Duterte is appealing for the understanding of SAP beneficiaries who have yet to receive their emergency subsidies.

“Doon po sa mga talagang nag-aantay pa ng ayuda, humihingi na po ng inyong pag-unawa ang Presidente (For those who have yet to get the cash assistance, the President is asking for your understanding),” Roque said.

Roque ensured that there was already a directive to the local government officials to hasten the distribution of the cash relief.

He said sanctions will be meted out to local officials who will not comply with the latest order.

“We will enforce the law and we will enforce discipline amongst those who should have acted faster,” Roque said.

GCQ will be adopted in localities deemed as having low to moderate risk for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) from May 1 to 15.

ECQ, on the other hand, will still be implemented in high-risk areas until May 15.

Roque, in a statement, said the IATF- EID might discuss the proposal of Bacolod City officials to extend ECQ in the area.

“The appeal of Bacolod City officials asking for President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to extend enhanced community quarantine until May 15, 2020 has reached the Office of the President. Aforesaid appeal needs to undergo protocol such as the approval of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases. Let us just wait for IATF’s decision in this regard,” he said. (PNA)

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