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Indigents in MECQ areas to get 2nd tranche of SAP aid

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Low-income households residing in areas under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) will get the second tranche of emergency subsidies under the national government’s Social Amelioration Program (SAP), Malacañang said on Saturday.

“Kasama po sa second tranche ang MECQ (Those who are living in areas under MECQ will also get the second tranche [of cash aid]),” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said during the Laging Handa program aired on state-run PTV-4.

Roque made the statement a day after he admitted that the government is still figuring out how it can extend assistance to poor families living in areas placed under MECQ from May 16 to 31.

This also developed after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado to realign public funds to augment the budget for the second phase of SAP.

Malacañang on Thursday said only 13 million out of 23 million SAP beneficiaries will receive the second wave of payouts amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

On Friday, Roque said Duterte had wanted Avisado to look for additional funds to make sure that all the 23 million poor families will get the second tranche of emergency cash subsidies.

Roque said Malacañang has yet to release a memorandum that will set guidelines for the distribution of the second tranche of emergency subsidies.

He added that the government might prioritize the families living in areas that remain under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

“Sa second tranche, hinihintay po natin ang memo galing po sa Office of the Executive Secretary. Siguro po, paunang ilalabas ay sigurado po, yung mga ayuda doon sa mga lugar na nanatili sa ECQ (We are still awaiting the memorandum from the Office of the Executive Secretary. Perhaps, we will first release the cash assistance in areas still placed under ECQ),” he said.

ECQ is imposed in Cebu and Mandaue cities from May 16 to 31, according to Resolution 37 inked by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).

The IATF-EID, on the other hand, placed Metro Manila, Laguna, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Zambales, and Angeles City under MECQ.

GCQ is imposed in areas nationwide where ECQ or MECQ are not enforced.

Under the SAP, low-income households are entitled to get emergency cash subsidies worth between PHP5,000 to PHP8,000, depending on the regional wage rates. (Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos, PNA)

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