MANILA – Indigent families residing in areas placed under the general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified GCQ (MGCQ) will no longer receive the emergency subsidies under the national government’s social amelioration program (SAP), Malacañang said on Saturday.
“Siyempre po, itong buwan ng Hunyo, dahil lahat po tayo ay nasa GCQ (at MGCQ) na, wala pong ayuda (Of course, this June, there will be no more cash aid because all of the places will be under GCQ and MGCQ),” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said during the Laging Handa program aired on state-run PTV-4.
The PHP200-billion SAP grants monthly emergency subsidy, worth between PHP5,000 and PHP8,000, to poor households affected by the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
Some 18 million low-income families benefitted from the implementation of the first phase of SAP.
For the second tranche, only 12 million of the 18 million families will get financial assistance. However, the total number of SAP recipients who will receive the second wave of cash aid is 17 million as five million new recipients who did not receive any assistance in the first tranche were included.
The government has yet to distribute the second tranche of financial assistance because it is still verifying the identities of the additional five million beneficiaries.
The government is targeting the automated release of the second tranche of emergency subsidies to avoid recipients’ possible exposure to Covid-19.
Roque said the government would also look for ways to give aid to families living in high-risk villages or critical areas in GCQ or MGCQ zones that would still be put under total lockdown.
“Syempre po, hahanapan ng paraan para mabigyan pa rin ng ayuda (Of course, we will find a way to provide them with assistance),” he said.
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, meanwhile, said villages with more than two Covid-19 cases in a week would remain under total lockdown even after the community quarantine restrictions in the country are relaxed.
From June 1 to 15, Pangasinan, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Metro Manila, Central Visayas, Zamboanga City, Davao City, Cebu City, and Mandaue City will be under GCQ.
The rest of the country will be placed under MGCQ. Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos /PNA – northboundasia.com