Second tranche of gov’t cash aid reaches over 10M families
MANILA, Philippines — At least 10.22 million families have received the social aid’s second wave, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said.
DSWD’s update on Thursday showed that a total of P66.4 billion has been disbursed, as part of the social amelioration program (SAP) intended for households adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, this is still over a million short of the government’s target-beneficiaries, which was at 11.5 million.
“Narito ang latest na datos sa 2nd tranche ng Social Amelioration Program (SAP) sa ilalim ng DSWD. Batay sa datos noong ika-5 ng Agosto, umaabot na sa P66.4 bilyon ang nailabas ng DSWD para sa 10,223,307 pamilyang benepisyaryo ng SAP,” DSWD said in a tweet.
Previously, DSWD said that it is aiming to finish 80 percent of the payouts before July ends, but was only able to distribute 77 percent as of August 4. Now, this covers around 88 percent of the total beneficiaries.
DSWD spokesperson Irene Dumlao said the department is trying to finish all SAP payouts by mid-August.
The SAP is a product of Republic Act No. 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act of 2020, intended to help 18 million Filipino families who would bear the brunt of previous lockdowns over Luzon and other areas due to the health crisis.
After the enhanced community quarantine necessitated work suspensions and stay-at-home policies, people who relied on daily earnings and whose jobs could not switch to a work-from-home scheme were left without any income.
The first tranche started last April while the second tranche was expected to start by May, as the SAP was meant to be given monthly based on the monthly minimum wage in a particular area.
However, DSWD insisted on validating the recipients of the first tranche before releasing the subsequent aid. As a result, the government only started distributing the SAP by the end of June — when Metro Manila and most areas were already under a general community quarantine, with people allowed to return back to work again.
Recently, there were calls to provide a third SAP tranche after Metro Manila, Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite, and Laguna were placed under a modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) again due to the continued rise of COVID-19 cases.
Malacañang earlier said that the distribution of a third tranche is up to Congress — leading some labor groups to question whether the MECQ would just put workers at greater risk.
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