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Help for Covid-affected Families
« on: April 09, 2020, 12:05:19 AM »
Gov’t sets emergency aid
to covid-affected families

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, April 3 (PIA)—With the enactment of the Bayanihan To Heal As One into  law which has provided extra powers to President Rodrigo Duterte, the government is now poised to provide an Emergency Subsidy Program to estimated 18 million low income families severely affected by the travel and work restrictions  to help contain the coronavirus disease affectation in the country.

The EMP is a package of social protection programs that help mitigate the adverse effects of the declaration to the most vulnerable sectors of the Philippine Society, explains Department of Social Welfare and Development Bohol Team leader Rhea Marie Tubongbanua at the recent Kapihan sa PIA.

The packaged includes cash, non-cash items, services comes from the government’s social amelioration program that mitigate the socio-economic impacts of Covid-19 health crisis, she adde, in the radio forum that has since opted to stay in studio in line with the social distancing and keeping people off the streets.

With the program, beneficiaries from vulnerable sectors can get between P8,000 to P5,0000 for April and May, based on the prevailing regional minimum wage rates, so families who may have workers disrupted from work due to the quarantine, can still have the money to buy food, medicines and toiletries.   

Integral in the implementation of the ESP is the Social Amelioration card, a form distributed to residents to be filled in by the head of family that captures the family profile which would be the mechanism for affected families to access the social amelioration program, she added.

Other than the cash aid are food and non-food items including hygiene kits and an augmentation of food packs after the LGUs have put up their disaster response initiatives.

The DSWD also packs integrated services to individuals in crisis situations to protect them from getting totaled while helping them recover, and the provision of sustainable livelihood programs for the poor and vulnerable marginalized families to ease out from their deplorable conditions.

ESP also includes livelihood assistance grants given to SLP beneficiaries to help them recover from economic losses incurred during the severe economic disruption caused by the highly infectious disease.

And true to its goals, the ESP targets families who belong to the poor and informal sector whose lives are at risk for losing their incomes during the quarantine period who may have at least, a member belonging to the vulnerable and disadvantage sector like senior citizens, persons with disability, pregnant or lactating mother, solo parents, distressed Overseas Filipino Workers who were now banned from traveling outside the country because of the COVID break-out and indigenous peoples.

Also eligible to get the assistance are members of the underprivileged sector and homeless individuals, informal economy workers like the independent self-employed small scale producers and distributor of goods like directly hired or occasional workers (laundry), subcontracted workers, homeworkers like weavers, house helpers, drivers of vehicles owned by another person, micro entrepreneurs, sarisari store operators with assets less than 100,000, family enterprise owners, below minimum wage earners especially when he is sole income-earner.     

ESP also funds farmers, fisherfolks, farm workers especially those who income fall below the poverty line, no-work-no-pay workers, stranded workers who could not go home due to the community  quarantine.

Tubongbanua however explained that since the P20Billion fund for the 18 million workers would not be sufficient for all for two months, the LGUS are tasked to identify beneficiaries through the punong barangays in a barangay saturation approach, prioritizing poorer barangays.

By this, the DSWD issues Social Amelioration Cards to identified beneficiaries, the cards work as the basis of cash transfers to avoid duplication of beneficiaries. (rahchiu/PIA-7/Bohol)

NOT FOR EVERYONE. Bohol SWAD teamleader Rhea Marie Tubongbanua said that even if one belongs to the disadvantaged sector but is well above the rest, one may not get the financial subsidy, although they may still tap other government agencies giving out non-cash grants. (PIABohol) 

STRAIGHT FROM THE SOURCE. Kapihan sa PIA discussing the details of the Bayanihan to Heal As One Law's Emergency Subsidy Program where a team from DSWD Bohol SWAD led by team leader Rhea Marie Tubongbanua took turns clarifying issues and concerns. (PIABohol)

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