Cash aid for families affected by Covid-19 pandemic pushed in House
MANILA, Philippines — A measure that aims to give cash assistance to families affected by the coronavirus pandemic has been filed in the House of Representatives.
House Bill No. 8597 proposes the creation of the Bangon Pamilyang Pilipino (BPP) Assistance Program wherein each Filipino family shall receive one-time cash assistance of P10,000 or P1,500 per family member, whichever is higher.
The BPP aid program is different from the social amelioration scheme provided under the Bayanihan measures, according to the bill.
Based on the proposed legislation, the following shall be given priority in the distribution of the BPP cash assistance:
- Poorest of the poor;
- Senior citizens;
- Persons with disabilities;
- Solo parents;
- Displaced, retrenched or separated workers, or otherwise severely affected or have lost their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic;
- Medical frontliners including barangay health workers;
- Families of overseas Filipino workers;
- Those who were not able to receive assistance through any of the social amelioration programs of the national government;
- Filipino citizens holding a Philippine National ID;
- Other members of the vulnerable sectors
Although the bill only encourages those who would want to benefit from the BPP cash assistance program to enroll in the Philippine Identification System (PIS), it also says that enlistment in PIS would merit prioritization of the enrollee in the list of beneficiaries.
Further, the bill mandates the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to establish, maintain, and operate a telephone hotline, website, and mobile application in order to effectively facilitate the rollout of the aid program.
“Although Filipinos are known for their grit and resilience, assistance to our countrymen is still needed to help them survive and get back on their feet amid the pandemic while a viable vaccine program for all Filipinos is being rolled out by the government,” proponents of the measure noted.
“This bill ensures that each and every Filipino is given additional assistance, in recognition that we all have been affected by the pandemic, economic setbacks, and all the hardships brought about in the year 2020,” they added.
House Bill No. 8597 was filed by Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano and his wife, Taguig Rep. Maria Laarni Cayetano, as well as Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte, Batangas Rep. Raneo Abu, Laguna Rep. Dan Fernandez, Anakalusugan Partylist Rep. Michael Defensor, and Bulacan Rep. Jose Antonio Sy-Alvarado.