MANILA – The second tranche of the government’s social amelioration program (SAP) will proceed even if the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act or Republic Act 11469 expires this month, Malacañang said on Monday.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque explained that distribution of cash aid to poor families will not be affected even if the law’s three-month validity expires on June 25.
“Tuloy po ang second tranche ng ayuda kahit kailan pa nag-expire ang Bayanihan Act (The second tranche of cash aid will proceed even if the Bayanihan Act expires),” he said in a virtual presser.
Roque pointed out that the emergency subsidy distribution will not be affected by the expiration because the “obligation” and the “funds” already exist.
He said the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is currently validating the list of qualified beneficiaries under the cash grant’s second wave.
“Sa ngayon ang DSWD ay nagsasagawa ng validation ng mga naisumiteng listahan, ito po iyong para sa mga additional 5 million na mga pangalan (Right now, the DSWD is validating the submitted lists, this is for the additional 5 million names),” he said.
There will also be regional and inter-regional checking to ensure that there would be no duplicates in the list of names.
Under the SAP, low-income families affected by the health crisis will be granted emergency subsidies worth between PHP5,000 to PHP8,000.
Around 18 million poor families received the first tranche of the cash aid.
For the implementation of the second phase of SAP, some 12 million of the 18 million existing beneficiaries, along with the 5 million new recipients, will get the emergency subsidies.
Meanwhile, Roque said Malacañang is still studying the proposal to call for a special session in Congress after it adjourned without extending the temporary special powers granted to President Rodrigo Duterte under the Bayanihan law to address the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I’m sure po pinag-aaralan na po iyang option na iyan dahil hindi nga po umabot iyong stimulus package at saka iyong extension ng Bayanihan 2. (I’m sure that option is being studied because the stimulus package and the extension ng Bayanihan 2 was not passed),” he said.
He maintained that the expiration of the Bayanihan Act is on June 25 after some lawmakers claimed the effectivity of the law ceased on June 5.
“Ang tingin po namin ay hanggang [June] 25 pa po ang expiration date ng Bayanihan law eh wala pong urgency as far as the first 25 days is a concern (We believe that the Bayanihan law expires on June 25, there is no urgency yet as far as the first 25 days is concerned). But I’m sure the Office of the Executive Secretary is studying this matter already,” he said.
Both the Senate and the House ended its first regular session last week without passing the proposed “Bayanihan to Recover As One Act” or the “Bayanihan 2” bill.
However, the PHP1.3 trillion economic stimulus package to mitigate the effects of the pandemic was passed by the House on final reading. (PNA)