Party-list solon wants one-time P2K cash aid to every Filipino in PH
MANILA, Philippines —To ease people’s burden during the current COVID-19 pandemic and other external factors, a lawmaker proposing a one-time P2,000 cash assistance for all Filipinos.
Kalinga Rep. Irene Gay Saulog said in her House Bill No. 2022 deems the cash aid necessary because the government’s responsibility is to protect its citizens and eliminate poverty from their lives.
“It shall be the policy of the State to promote a just and dynamic social order that will ensure the prosperity and independence of the nation and free the people from poverty through policies that provide adequate social services, promote full employment, a rising standard of living, and an improved quality of life for all,” Saulog said in her bill.
“In order to provide relief from the heavy burden brought about by the ongoing pandemic and the rapid rise of goods and services, a one-time cash aid of P2,000 will be provided to all Filipinos. This ayuda for all Filipinos will be an equitable means of providing assistance, especially to those who were neglected in the previous programs of the government,” she added.
Recently, prices of goods have risen sharply, as the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said that the headline inflation rate for July was at 6.4 percent — topping June’s 6.1 percent, which was already a three-year high.
The main drivers of the high inflation rate are still food products like meat and fish, along with oil products like gasoline, transportation costs, and electricity.
Since January, the average inflation rate has been at 4.7 percent.
READ: July inflation heats up further to 6.4%
For every Filipino living in the country, Saulog’s proposal, if enacted, requires at least P218 billion in cash assistance.
“The cash aid will be provided to all Filipinos residing in the Philippines during the implementation of the program […] The amount of P218 billion or so much thereof as may be necessary is hereby appropriated for the effective implementation of this Act,” she added.
In the long lockdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, cash aid was given several times, which crippled the economy because people couldn’t work outside their homes to avoid transmission.
In early 2021, the government handed out cash aid to those living in the so-called National Capital Region Plus (NCR Plus) — Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal — when a COVID-19 surge forced another lockdown in that region.
That aid, however, was only at P1,000 per person, with a maximum of P4,000 per household. Several groups lamented that the amount would not be enough to support a family of four for a week, let alone for the two weeks that the ECQ lasted.
READ: 16.8% hunger rate calls for new round of cash aid for poor – Bayan | P1K cash aid not enough for 2-week ECQ — Bayan Muna
It is unclear, however, if the government has enough funds to set aside for another round of social aid, which may be bigger than previous iterations. In July, Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman said that they would try to balance everything on a tight budget.
READ: Agri, economic recovery programs top priorities in Marcos 2023 budget
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