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How low-income families can receive cash aid from the government

Thousands of families remain waiting for the cash assistance promised by the Duterte administration to help them cope with the quarantine, which halted jobs and economic activities, to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

On Monday night, President Rodrigo Duterte announced that the government has set aside P200 billion for low-income families across the country hard hit by COVID-19.

According to a 24 Oras report by Mav Gonzales on Wednesday, low-income families may apply to receive social amelioration through the following process:

  • The head of the family must claim a social amelioration card from their barangay
  • The filled out card will be returned to barangay officials
  • The barangay will forward the accomplished form to the local government unit
  • The local government will transmit the form to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the agency in charge of distributing the amelioration

Once the list of families who will be given aid has been finalized, the national government will hand over the subsidy to the barangay.

The barangay officials will be in charge of distributing the aid to families.

“Baka naman puwede nang i-deliver sa bahay tapos papirmahin na lang sa payroll o [ilagay na] the amount na binigay ng ating pamahalaan ay talagang nakarating sa kanila,” Interior Undersecretary Martin Diño said.

“Warning na ito: do’n sa mga nagbabalak na barangay official na kunin ito, makukukulong kayo,” he added.

Cost of aid

Duterte earlier explained that the amount of subsidy that families will receive will depend on the regional minimum wage.

Low-income households in Metro Manila will receive P8,000.

In Regions III and IV-A, P6,500 will be distributed.

In Regions VI, VII, X, and XI, families will receive P6,000.

In Regions I, II, and the Cordillera Administrative Region, the subsidy is P5,500.

In Regions IV-B, V, VIII, IX, XII, CARAGA, and ARMM, families will be given P5,000

Social Welfare spokesperson Irene Dumlao said there are 18 million families nationwide included in the government’s list of low-income households in the informal sector.

“‘Yung napapabilang sa informal economy sector [ay] itong mga arawan, ang trabaho ‘yung apektado ng ‘no work, no pay,’” she explained.

Still no forms

The DSWD announced on Tuesday that it had already distributed the social amelioration cards to barangays. 

The Interior Department has also directed local government units to fast-track the distribution of the cards. 

Still, some barangays like Laging Handa in Quezon City said they are yet to receive the forms from the national government.

“The actual instructions haven’t really been given to us… We’re asking our residents to just wait for a little while hanggang maayos natin lahat kasi we do understand the national government [ay] medyo nahihirapan din sila,” chairman Jose Maria Rodriguez  said.

Earlier on Wednesday, residents of Sitio San Roque in Quezon City staged a protest because they had not received aid that was promised by the local government. 

The Quezon City government denied that they had not distributed food packs in the area while charges were filed against the protesters. —Julia Mari Ornedo/LDF, GMA News