Recipients of cash aid in November at only 69% – SWS
MANILA, Philippines — It is highly likely that the number of families who got cash aid from the government amid the Covid-19 pandemic did not increase as a recent survey has revealed that 69 percent of families received assistance — not far off from previous numbers recorded.
According to the survey from the Social Weather Stations (SWS) released on Thursday, the 69 percent figure obtained from surveys done from November 21 to 25, 2020 is relatively similar to the 71 percent it recorded in the September version of the survey, and to the 72 percent from the July edition.
SWS said that respondents were asked whether they have received any cash aid of any amount from whatever branch of the government. Another question, this time whether respondents received any financial help from private sector groups, was asked for the first time — to which seven percent said yes.
“The national Social Weather Survey of November 21-25, 2020, found 69% of Filipino families saying they received money-help from the government since the Covid-19 crisis began,” SWS said.
“This is similar to the 71% in September 2020 and the 72% in July 2020, implying that there has been no increase in the recipients of the government’s cash subsidy between July and November 2020,” it added.
On average, the government gave each family cash assistance worth P8,970 since the pandemic started, and an average of P6,435 from the private sector.
SWS further broke down the numbers, noting that around 63 percent received cash aid solely from the government, five percent from both the government and private groups, and two percent purely from the private sector.
Of the 69 percent who got help from the government, only 54 said they received cash once, and 46 percent were given assistance twice.
For the private sector, 48 percent received it once and 52 percent received it twice.
Most of the financial aid recipients are families who rated themselves as poor according to SWS’ previous survey, at 73 percent — 67 percent said they received it only from the government, two percent from the private sector, and four percent from both sources.
The Philippine government has provided two tranches of its social amelioration program for families affected by the lockdowns.
After the government declared a wide-scale lockdown by March, quarantine restrictions were only eased by June when people were gradually allowed to go back to work. For the two-month period, many families, especially those from rural and urban poor communities had to rely on cash subsidies.
The social amelioration program (SAP) was mandated by Republic Act No. 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act to benefit around 18 million families.
However, the SAP was hounded by various issues including slow distribution, non-compliance with safety protocols, and mishandling by local officials with no less than President Rodrigo Duterte admitting that the SAP is not perfect.
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