Duterte OKs 5M more SAP beneficiaries; 2nd tranche of cash aid may only cover areas under ECQ
President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to increase by five million the number of beneficiaries of cash assistance from the government amid the coronavirus disease pandemic, Malacañang said on Monday.
In a virtual press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said with the additional five million, the total beneficiaries of the Social Amelioration Program would now be 23 million.
"Not only 18 million families can receive the first tranche of the Social Amelioration Program, we added five million or a total of 23 million in accordance with the promise of the President that all those in need should be given (assistance)," he said.
But despite the five million more low income family beneficiaries, more families could not receive the aid which ranges between P5,000 and P8,000 depending on the minimum wage in each region where the beneficiaries live, Roque admitted.
Roque said families in areas under the general community quarantine might no longer get the second tranche of SAP.
"There is no final decision yet but we may go to that direction because we have already opened up the economy of those areas under the GCQ and the people in the GCQ areas can already go to work," Roque said when asked if the focus of the second tranche of SAP would be in areas under enhanced community quarantine and not GCQ anymore.
Under the Bayanihan Heal as One Act, some 18 million low income families and vulnerable sectors would receive cash aid to lessen the impact brought about by the pandemic.
Beginning May 1, most parts of the country have been placed under GCQ wherein many businesses have already been allowed to operate.
The only places which are still under ECQ where the movement of the people are restricted and most businesses are still not operational are Metro Manila; Region III or Central Luzon except Aurora province; Region IV-A or Calabarzon; Pangasinan; Benguet; Iloilo, including Iloilo City; Cebu, including Cebu City; Bacolod City; and Davao City.
Roque said the local governments of Albay and Zamboanga City have requested they remain under ECQ.
He said the IATF already approved the request. But President Rodrigo Duterte has yet to give his final nod. Celerina Monte/DMS