Cagayan de Oro City Rufus Rodriguez on Friday reiterated his call for the inter-agency task force (IATF) against Covid-19 to include all 18 million low-income families in the phase 2 of the government’s social amelioration program (SAP).
He renewed his appeal in proposed House Resolution 913, filed Wednesday last week. His plea is addressed to Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and the IATF, co-chaired by Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles.
In his resolution, Rodriguez reminded the concerned officials that under Republic Act 11469, or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Law, an “emergency subsidy” of P5,000 to P8,000 was to be given to “around 18 million low-income households” last month and this month due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“It is clear in the law that these families are entitled to receive two-months subsidy,” he said.
He said the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has reported that 17.5 million households or 97.4 percent of the target beneficiaries received almost P99 billion last month.
He added that in a memorandum last May 22, Medialdea ordered that the beneficiaries of SAP-phase 1 “be retained and an additional five million families be included in SAP-phase 2, which the DSWD is preparing to undertake.”
But Rodriguez pointed out that it was also announced that President Duterte has approved the IATF recommendation to limit the second wave of aid to those in areas still under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
“It was however stated that poor families living in places under general community quarantine (GCQ) may also qualify to receive the second tranche of cash aid. This is contrary to RA No. 11469, which does not qualify or limit the recipients of SAP assistance to families in areas under ECQ or modified ECQ,” he stressed.
“Being under GCQ does not mean that low-income families will be able to go to work already and earn income. It definitely does not mean that they are disqualified from receiving SAP-2 aid,” he said.
Rodriguez warned the IATF that it would be violating the law if goes ahead with its plan to limit SAP-2 to ECQ areas, which he was said have been reduced to only a few local government units.
He said most of the country, including Metro Manila, is already under general quarantine and modified ECQ.