In cash handouts for Leyte townsfolk, joy and worry mix over how money will be spent
TACLOBAN CITY—To know how the poor appreciates P5,000, listen to Bernardita Codilan, 67, a recipient of the cash aid for coronavirus distributed on April 22 in the town of Barugo, Leyte province by the national government.
Codilan waited for an hour outside the village hall where the money was being handed out.
After receiving the cash, Codilan listed how she would spend it.
“This amount is big for us poor,” she said.
“This P5,000 will go a long way because I can now buy my medicine to control my blood pressure while the rest would be spent on food,” said Codilan, a resident of Barangay District II.
Codilan was one of 6,984 residents of Barugo town in Leyte, who received the cash aid under the Social Amelioration Program of the government’s COVID-19 response.
Barugo Mayor Ma. Rosario Avestruz said when she learned about the financial assistance from the national government, she immediately made a list of qualified beneficiaries.
Among these were senior citizens, lactating mothers, single parents, persons with disabilities and low-income earners who were displaced after establishments closed down for the enhanced community quarantine against coronavirus.
Avestruz reminded beneficiaries to use wisely the money that they received from the government.
Beneficiaries who are caught squandering the money would be out of the second payout in May, said the mayor.
“If they spend the money to buy liquor or worst, illegal drugs, they will be removed from the list of beneficiaries in the second payout,” Avestruz said.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development in Eastern Visayas (DSWD) has identified 596,094 beneficiaries for SAP in the provinces of Samar, Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, Leyte, Southern Leyte and Biliran.
Joshua Kempis, DSWD regional information officer for disaster response management, said the department planned to complete the distribution on April 30.
As of Wednesday (April 22), at least 9,413 beneficiaries from the provinces of Leyte (4,443), Samar (1,963), and Eastern Samar (3,007) received the P5,000 financial assistance.
“We just like to remind the beneficiaries that this emergency subsidy is meant to help the people sustain their basic needs,” said Kempis.
Edited by TSB
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