GCQ areas should not be deprived of 2nd wave of emergency subsidy says Recto

Low-income households in areas placed under the general community quarantine should still receive the second tranche of the P5,000 to P8,000 social amelioration program, Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said on Tuesday.

According to the statement of Recto, he said the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act clearly provides for cash assistance to around 18 million families for two months.

Klaro sa records ng debate iyon, that it should be given in two installments and is not linked to the quarantine status of the place,” he said.

Hindi sinabi doon na kapag downgraded na ang quarantine, we abort the grant of scheduled aid… This should be released pursuant to law. Withholding it is like pulling the financial ventilator of hard-up families,” he added.

Recto said it would be just that beneficiaries receive two months’ worth of cash aid since the strict quarantine protocols in the country have been in effect for more than 60 days now.

Recto said, the Department of Social Welfare and Development has already disbursed a total of P96.15 billion as of mid-May.

“Kaya mayroon pang balanse na kalahati, mga P100 bilyon. Kung two gives, bigay na kaagad yung other half. Lalo ngayon na mayroon nang listahan,” he said.

Moreover, he said that the social amelioration program should be expanded to include the “new poor.”

“This would be the 10 million Filipinos ‘in the middle of the middle-income bracket’ whose maximum subsistence capacity of four to six months is nearing empty,” Recto said.

The government recently announced that the emergency cash subsidy will only be for qualified families in areas of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).

Metro Manila, Laguna, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, and Zambales are placed under MECQ effective May 16 until May 31.

Meanwhile, Cebu City and Mandaue City have been placed under ECQ until the end of the month.advertisement

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said that the President Duterte has ordered Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado to find a funding source for a possible cash aid to qualified beneficiaries in the area under general community quarantine.

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