Poor Filipino families affected by the enhanced community quarantine should receive the P5,000 to P8,000 emergency subsidy in cash, according to Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Wednesday.
"Kung nasa kanila [ang pera], maba-budget nila, saka mabibili nila kung anong gusto nila doon sa lugar nila. 'Yun ang thinking namin... Ganoon ang thinking ng Senado, ng Kongreso," Sotto said in a radio interview.
"Saka ipe-prepare mo 'yung goods, bibilhin mo, babalutin mo, i-distribute mo, eh mas mabilis i-distribute 'yung cash eh," he added.
Sotto said he would talk to Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and the Department of Social Welfare and Development to clarify the plan regarding the social amelioration program.
According to President Rodrigo Duterte's first report to the Congress, the emergency subsidy program "includes the provision of cash or non-cash subsidy for low-income household beneficiaries amounting from P5,000 to P8,000 per month for two months."
"Isa po 'yun sa sigurong itutuwid natin or paplantsahin natin muna. Kung ganoon ang intindi ng executive department lalo na ng DSWD, kailangan makausap namin sila agad. Sapagkat mas gusto namin, kaya natin ginawa 'yan eh, para 'yung cash ibigay sa kanila (mahihirap na pamilya) eh. Sila bumili," Sotto said.
"'Di ko naman sa pinipintasan 'yung idea nila na 'yun, baka may dahilan sila," he added.
The Congress passed the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act last week, in a bid to fast-track the release of the budget to assist around 18 million low-income households in the informal sector as the country faces the COVID-19 health emergency.
On Tuesday, DSWD Director Irene Dumlao said the department has started distributing social amelioration card forms which will be used as the basis in providing aid to the families who would benefit from the emergency subsidy program. —Dona Magsino/LBG, GMA News