Personnel from the Philippines'
Personnel from the Philippines' Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), wearing personal protective equipment, distribute the cash assistance under the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) to members of the Tricycle Operators’ and Drivers’ Association (TODA) Federation of Pasay City. Image Credit: Twitter

Manila: The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has started distributing Php5,000 (about $100) to Php8,000 ($157), to beneficiaries affected by the Luzon-wide home quarantine.

The rates are based on regional minimum wage rate, and initially targeted beneficiaries in some areas in the National Capital Region (NCR) as part of the government's "Social Amelioration Program (SAP) Bayanihan Fund: Tulong Laban sa COVID-19.

In Pasay City, DSWD, through its Crisis Intervention Unit (CIU), initially distributed Php8,000 cash assistance to some 161 members of the Tricycle Operators’ and Drivers’ Association (TODA) Federation of Pasay City.

They are the first batch to receive the aid, out of 3,981 TODA members in the city, who are included in the list of beneficiaries of the SAP.

Meanwhile, emergency subsidies were distributed for 185,680 and 77,674 target beneficiaries of Manila and Paranaque, respectively.

Likewise, beneficiaries of the conditional cash transfer scheme "Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program" (4Ps) cash card holders in NCR, CAR, CALABARZON, BARMM, Regions I, II, and III were able to withdraw their emergency subsidies on April 3.

Cash aid

On the other hand, beneficiaries from Regions IV-B, V,VI,VII and IX received their subsidies on April 4. 4Ps beneficiaries in Regions VIII, X, XI, XII, and CARAGA also received their emergency subsidy on Sunday, April 5.

Between April and May, the department will be distributing the social amelioration programs (SAP) in outright cash over a period of two months, the agency said in a web statement. DSWD will employ different modes of payment applicable to the situation that will ensure quick cash distribution.

Based on the directive of the President, the distribution of the assistance will be under the full control and supervision of DSWD.

DSWD may seek the assistance of LGUs in the distribution of the subsidies together with the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). DSWD will conduct thorough monitoring based on existing strategies to ensure that the assistance will go to the rightful beneficiaries.

Crisis-hit families

Target beneficiaries of the SAP are low-income families or those on subsistence economy or workers in the informal economy, and with members belonging to the vulnerable sector, assessed to be the most affected by the declaration given their existing life situations or circumstances.

The Department stressed that the government wants to help all families affected by the crisis to receive the social amelioration programs but priority will be given to the poor and those at risk of not earning income during this quarantine period.

The Department urged families to stay at home as help is already on the way to ensure that they can meet their daily food needs during this time of public health emergency.