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Next cash aid to benefit 20.3 million Households

Alexis Romero - The Philippine Star
Next cash aid to benefit 20.3 million Households
The beneficiaries include the 12 million initially targeted under the social amelioration program, 4.9 million left out in the first tranche, and 3.4 million employee-recipients of the second wave of the small business wage subsidy program.
STAR / Walter Bollozos, file

MANILA, Philippines — More than 20 million individuals are expected to benefit from the second tranche of the government’s aid programs for sectors sidelined by the coronavirus pandemic.

The beneficiaries include the 12 million initially targeted under the social amelioration program (SAP), 4.9 million left out in the first tranche, and 3.4 million employee-recipients of the second wave of the small business wage subsidy program.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque yesterday said the total does not include households in general community quarantine areas that may receive subsidies if the government finds sources of additional funds like a supplemental budget.

Roque said the first tranche of the government’s aid programs has benefited 19.43 million individuals. Households that benefited from the first tranche of SAP, which provided P5,000 to P8,000 to low-income households, totaled 18.046 million.

The Department of Labor and Employment’s COVID-19 adjustment measures programs have provided assistance to 602,722 beneficiaries while its Abot-Kamat ang Pagtulong for displaced overseas Filipino workers has assisted 73,352 individuals. The Tulong Panghanapbuhay para sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers, which seeks to assist informal workers, provided aid to 299,156 beneficiaries. The financial subsidy for rice farmers, meanwhile, benefited 415,000 beneficiaries.

The government has allotted more than P200 billion for the SAP, which seeks to provide relief to households whose livelihood sources were disrupted because of quarantine restrictions imposed by the government. Officials previously said President Duterte would ask Congress to pass a supplemental budget to bankroll the second tranche of the aid program and to enable the government to provide subsidies even to households living in GCQ areas.

Meanwhile, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) have partnered to speed up the distribution of cash subsidy under SAP.

As part of their partnership, USAID and DSWD have launched the “ReliefAgad” web application that would enable the DSWD and local government units to expedite capturing SAP details and provide data to fast-track disbursement of cash assistance through electronic payment systems.

Using their smartphones, SAP beneficiaries can now register their social amelioration cards in the ReliefAgad system through its website, www.reliefagad.ph.

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and Developers Connect Philippines (DEVCON), through the DEVCON Community of Technology Experts (DCTx), are working in partnership with the DSWD and USAID on ReliefAgad.

“The United States is committed to supporting the Philippine government’s response to the COVID-19 health crisis. The ReliefAgad application will help expedite the delivery of relief assistance to SAP beneficiaries across the Philippines and support the most vulnerable during the pandemic,” said Ambassador Sung Kim.

DSWD Undersecretary Danilo Pamonag lauded the USAID, DICT and DEVCON for their help “in this critical task of providing emergency assistance to our fellow countrymen during this crisis.”

CASH AID SOCIAL AMELIORATION PROGRAM
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