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House panel to defeat COVID-19 may hold hearing on April 9

/ 04:45 PM April 03, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Friday said the House’s Defeat COVID-19 Committee (DCC) may hold a hearing on the government’s social amelioration program on Maundy Thursday, April 9.

In his virtual presser, Cayetano said the focus of the hearing will be the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) which is in charge of distributing the subsidy to be given to low-income families amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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Cayetano said he will issue a notice to members of the committee on Monday, April 6.

“Kung by Thursday afternoon pag nag-hearing, kapag na-distribute na yung pera by Thursday morning or ongoing then regardless kung what guidelines they use, we will say kudos and we will thank them and we will ask them how pa we can help at paano yung mga ibang sektor o programa,” Cayetano said.

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(By Thursday afternoon when we hold the hearing, if they have distributed the subsidy by morning or it is still ongoing, the regardless of the guidelines they use, we will say kudos and we will thank them and we will ask them how we can still help and what will happen to other sectors.)

“But kung hindi pa nag-uumpisa until Thursday, e malaking problema yan. Kasi ang utos ng pangulo, tanggalin na ang lahat ng pwedeng tanggalin na hindi kailangan na requirements para makapag-umpisa na,” he added.

(But if they have yet to begin by Thursday, then that’s a big problem. The order of the President is to remove all unnecessary requirements so the distribution could already begin.)

Cayetano said that while it is not easy, the government still has to find a way to hasten the distribution of the subsidy for the families.

Section 4 (c) of Republic Act No. 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal As One-Act tackles the provision of an emergency subsidy to around 18 million low-income households in the country affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The subsidy amounts between P5,000 to P8,000 a month for two months and is computed based on the “prevailing regional minimum wage rates.”

During the special session on the passage of R.A. 11469, Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez said that the DCC shall focus on “all matters directly and principally relating to the appropriate government response on the novel coronavirus and how to curb is effect on the economy and the general public especially the labor force.”

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