MAY 23, 2020 – The Philippines will begin distributing cash subsidy to only about 12 million poor households under the second tranche of the social protection program before the end of the month, less than six million families who are now placed under a general community quarantine.
But Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea ordered the Inter-Agency Task Force for the management of emerging infectious diseases to include five million households who are eligible to receive 5,000 pesos to 8,000 pesos a month, but are not originally listed in the 18 million beneficiaries.
In a memorandum on Friday, Medialdea said the five million new beneficiaries will fall under the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
The memo noted that “while it is only natural that most beneficiaries would come from those still living in Enhanced Community Quarantine areas, as stricter kinds of community quarantine deprive more people of means of support, household beneficiaries most affected by the continuing restrictions in the operation of certain industries and sectors in areas under a General Community Quarantine may still be considered for the Second Tranche.”
The IATF was told to retain the original numbers and budget for the first tranche.
Under Republic Act No. 11469, known as the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act, an emergency subsidy would be provided to 18 million families for two months. But people in low-risk areas which are placed under general community quarantine will no longer receive cash aid because of additional funds would be needed.
The government has distributed 100 billion pesos to 18 million households under the first tranche. About 105 billion pesos will be distributed under the second tranche to 17 million under the second tranche.
A number of families had appealed to the DSWD after they were excluded from the initial list of beneficiaries for cash aid. Last week, President Rodrigo Duterte approved the addition of five million more low-income families eligible to receive financial subsidy due to the quarantine.
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