Duterte eyes more funds for SAP 2nd tranche to cover also poor families in GCQ
President Rodrigo Duterte is looking for more funds to finance the second tranche of Social Amelioration Program SAP) to include poor families in areas under general community quarantine.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque earlier said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases approved to grant the second tranche of cash assistance to low-income families in areas to be placed under modified enhanced community quarantine starting May 16.
In a radio interview on Friday, Roque said Duterte ordered Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado to look for budgetary allocations of the line agencies and try to determine which could be realigned to finance the SAP.
"If ever, he (Duterte) wants to give all the 23 million Filipino (families) the second tranche of (financial) assistance," he said.
He also said Duterte would ask Congress' help to look for additional funding.
"We likewise confirm that PRRD will ask the assistance of Congress in the finding of additional funding for the second tranche of the Social Amelioration Program to complete the roll out of aid to poor and low-income families," he added.
Roque explained that originally the P205 billion budget allocated by Congress was intended for 18 million low-income families and vulnerable sectors. Each beneficiary could receive P5,000 to P8,000 depending on the minimum wage rate in each region where the recipients live. The cash aid is in two tranches for two months.
But since Duterte decided to provide cash aid to additional five million families, he said for almost 23 million families, the government has already earmarked P133.1 billion, thus, the remaining amount is not sufficient anymore for second tranche.
He said the remaining amount could only be given to some 11.5 million families in Metro Manila, Laguna and Cebu City, which will be under modified ECQ from May 16 to May 31.
Roque added that even if the remaining amount would be limited to areas under ECQ, the budget would still be short.
"If we're going to push with the President's wish to give assistance to all, we need P257.7 billion. So clearly, we are P51 billion short if we are going to give all of them the aid," he explained. Celerina Monte/DMS