Tue. Sep 21st, 2021

MANILA – The emergency subsidies for additional five million poor families are part of the fund allocated by the government for the Social Amelioration Program (SAP), Malacañang said on Monday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this assurance after announcing last week that five million families will be added to the original 18 million low-income household beneficiaries of SAP.

“I can assure you na iyong ayuda na ibibigay sa (that the cash aid that will be given to the) additional five million families is within the budget given to Congress for the SAP,” Roque said in a virtual presser.

Under the Bayanihan to Heal as One law or Republic Act No. 11469, the government has set aside a PHP200 billion emergency subsidy for about 18 million low-income families in two tranches from April until May.

The original number of poor households who will get the emergency subsidies is 18 million. However, Roque said Duterte wanted to grant cash aid to an additional five million families.

These low-income households will be receiving financial assistance ranging from PHP5,000 to PHP8,000.

Asked how the additional beneficiaries will be identified, Roque said the poor families initially excluded in the first tranche of the emergency subsidy program may also get the chance to receive cash aid.

Roque said the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is expected to release the guidelines on the distribution of the second tranche of the SAP.

He, however, said Duterte has yet to decide on the setup for the second tranche of emergency subsidies.

“Sa ngayon po, first tranche pa lang ang malinaw. Aabangan po natin ang desisyon ng ating Presidente para sa second tranche (As of now, only the first tranche is clear. We will have to wait for the decision of the President on the second tranche),” he said.

He said there is also a possibility that the poor families in areas placed under general community quarantine (GCQ), where quarantine measures are more relaxed, may no longer receive cash aid.

“Wala pa pong desisyon na pinal pero mukhang ganoon po tayo patungo kasi binuksan na naman po natin ang ekonomiya noong mga lugar na nasa ilalim ng GCQ at puwede ng mag-hanapbuhay iyong mga mamamayan natin sa GCQ areas (There is no final decision but it looks like that’s where we’re headed because we already opened the economy in places under GCQ and people in those areas may resume work),” he said.

He also sought for patience from the public, recognizing that there will still be some families complaining about being excluded from the list.

“Iyong mga hindi nakatanggap, masama ang loob, may pag-asa pa po dahil naintindihan naman ng Presidente natin na talagang napakadaming nawalan ng hanapbuhay noong tayo ay nagkaroon ng ECQ. Kaunting tiyaga lang po, pasensya na po talaga, hindi po natin gustong mangyari ito (Those who were not able to receive, who feel bad, there is still hope because the President understands that many have lost their livelihoods when the ECQ was implemented. Please be patient, we’re really sorry. We did not want this to happen),” he said.

Meanwhile, he urged local government units (LGUs) to speed up the delivery of cash aid to beneficiaries.

“The President is again appealing to all LGUs, it’s a matter of life or death po and that is how they should deal with this issue of distribution of the SAP,” he said. (ia/PNA)

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