Palace defends absence of SAP allocation in 2021 national budget
MANILA, Philippines— Malacañang on Thursday defended the absence of allocation for the social amelioration program (SAP) in the proposed 2021 national budget, saying there are other forms of assistance to be given under the proposed Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or Bayanihan 2.
The Department of Budget and Management said the government will no longer provide cash subsidies next year to Filipinos affected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
“Nakasaad po sa Bayanihan 2 na karamihan po ng tulong na ibibigay natin ay para po makapag-hanapbuhay na ang ating mga kababayan,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in an online briefing.
(It is already indicated under Bayanihan 2 the assistance we will give so that our countrymen could have their own livelihoods.)
“In other words, tapos na po yung pagbibigay lamang ng ayuda dahil hindi na po natin plano na magkaroon ng malawakang lockdowns,” he added.
(In other words, solely giving cash subsidy has ended since it is no longer our plan to impose extensive lockdowns.)
Under Bayanihan 2, Roque said the government will provide loans coming from the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Labor and Employment and the Department of Agriculture.
President Rodrigo Duterte has yet to sign the measure.
“Dahil nga po sa matinding epekto ng lockdown, kinakailangan na po nating enganyuhin ang lahat na pag-ingatan ang ating buhay para po tayo ay makapaghanapbuhay.” Roque further said.
(Because of the lockdown’s effects, we need to encourage everybody to take care of their lives so they can work.)
During the onset of the lockdowns in mid-March, the government provided P5,000 to P8,000 in cash aid to low-income families whose jobs were affected by the ongoing health crisis.
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