Mayors want cash aid beneficiaries reinstated
Marc Jayson Cayabyab (The Philippine Star) - April 8, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Metro Manila Council (MMC) approved on Monday a resolution urging the national government to reinstate the number of target beneficiaries under the social amelioration package (SAP).

The mayors approved the resolution amid reports that Metro Manila’s local government units were given a limited number of households eligible under the cash aid program.

The council, composed of the 17 Metro Manila mayors and convened by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), urged the Department of Social Welfare and Development-National Capital Region (DSWD-NCR) and the Department of Finance (DOF) to reinstate the original number of beneficiaries.

The MMC is the governing and policy-making body of the MMDA.

The SAP is the government’s cash aid distribution program that would provide P5,000 to P8,000 subsidy for two months to 18 million low-income households affected by the enhanced community quarantine.

MMC Resolution 20-07 did not state the original target set by the national government, only that the number of beneficiaries was “later on reduced.”

The council reiterated that Metro Manila has the biggest number of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases as well as the highest number of daily wage earners affected by the lockdown.

In Caloocan, the city government was provided a list of 400,000 households qualified for the cash distribution program, but the list was trimmed down to 200,000 families due to budgetary constraints, Mayor Oscar Malapitan said.

In Valenzuela, only 95,000 of the 155,000 households in the city could be granted the cash aid under the amelioration program, Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, whose brother Rex is mayor, earlier tweeted.

In Malabon, only 44,032 families of the city’s 86,000 households could benefit from the amelioration program, prompting Mayor Antolin Oreta III to remark that “every family, rich or poor, deserves aid from the government in these extraordinary times.”

Meanwhile, the MMC also passed Resolution 20-08 urging all the legislative councils of Metro Manila local government units to pass an ordinance penalizing acts of discrimination against health workers, overseas Filipino workers, COVID-19 patients and persons under monitoring or investigation.

The mayors issued the resolution following increasing incidents of discrimination and violence against health workers and COVID-19 patients.

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