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SWS: 67% of those who got financial aid from gov’t received it only once

/ 10:02 PM October 15, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Despite 71 percent of Filipino families saying they got financial assistance from the government, a recent survey revealed that at least two-thirds claimed they received aid only once.

In a survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS), the remaining 29 percent said that they received aid twice, two percent saying it was given thrice, one percent said four times, and a meager 0.21 percent saying five times.

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As an average, families got around P7,531 from the government’s COVID-19 assistance.  These numbers are not too far off from the July 2020 data obtained by SWS in a separate survey.

“Those whose families received money-help from the government were asked […] Since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis, how many times has your family received money from any branch or agency of government?” SWS said.

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“To this, 67% say they received money-help from the government once, and 29% received it twice. The remaining 2% received it thrice, 1% received it four times, and 0.21% received it five times,” it added.

Due to the rapid rise in COVID-19 cases last March, the government was forced to place Luzon and other areas on lockdown while suspending work for both the public and the private sectors, except for essential frontline services like hospitals, food and beverages, and other important industries.

However, the lockdowns meant that people relying on daily wages and earnings like construction workers, jeepney drivers, fruit vendors and other micro, small, and medium enterprises had little to no income amid the crisis.

This prompted the government to conduct a program to help 18 million low-income families through the Social Amelioration Program, which had two tranches.  The local government units also provided aid to residents in their respective cities and municipalities aside from the national government.

SWS said that the highest percentage of families who got aid lived in Metro Manila, at 82 percent; followed by those in the Visayas (73 percent), the rest of Luzon (70 percent), and Mindanao (64 percent).

“By frequency of receiving money-help, the majority of families that got money-help from government received it only once in all areas, except in Metro Manila where majority received it twice,” SWS said.

“In Metro Manila, 39% of families that got money-help from government received it once, 48% received it twice, 6% received it thrice, 4% received it four times, and 1% received it five times,” it added.

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Also, SWS noted that families in Metro Manila also received the highest average money-help at P11,024, followed by Balance Luzon (P7,481), Visayas (P6,833), and Mindanao (P5,664).

According to SWS, their probability-based survey conducted from September 17-20, used mobile phone and computer-assisted telephone interviews of 1,249 adult Filipinos.

The number of respondents was divided proportionally to population projections: 309 coming from Metro Manila, followed by Balance Luzon (328), Mindanao (312), and Visayas (300).  SWS said that they use a sampling error margin of ±3% for national percentages, ±6% for Metro Manila, ±5% for Balance Luzon, ±6% for the Visayas, and ±6% for Mindanao. [ac]

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