Let us try to understand the plight of our poor brothers and sisters; those who were prioritized by the Listahanan 2015 of the DSWD, and the additional members projected by the Economic Team of the Administration, to receive the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) cash assistance. These poor vulnerable households depend on their daily income to survive and are totally hand to mouth survivors. The poor informal sector members of society have nothing, are not educated, have undernourished members, have no opportunities, and were born on the other side of the tracks so to speak. Some of them are trying to get out of that bondage. Let’s help them survive this crisis.

We understand the plight of salaried workers from the middle class who also need help. The government is looking into assistance for the middle-class sector. USEC Karl Chua of the Department of Finance said, “the DOF is eyeing a P51B program to help middle class families through wage subsidies for workers of micro, small and medium enterprises which will help around 3.4M workers of 1.6M businesses in the formal sector whose operations were affected by the ECQ.”  The list of beneficiaries shall prioritize those who comply with their tax payments and SSS contributions.

The Coronavirus pandemic has taken the world by storm. Not even first world countries were prepared for the aftermath unleashed by the virus. We were all learning from what worked for other countries and adapting what was appropriate to our Philippine setting. The IATF has enabled all agencies of government to act as one for the good of all. Indeed the Covid19 pandemic is a challenge  for the  National Government, and each and every elected public official down to the Barangay level. The DSWD would like to appeal to the LGU Leadership including Barangay Councils to try to come up with their list as soon as possible and distribute the cash assistance in accordance with the rules of the Republic Act No. 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act of 2020. For the LGU constituents that are not covered by the Social Amelioration Program Cash Assistance of the government but are included in the lists of their respective Mayors, may we kindly request the Mayors and their councils to look into their Councils finances, savings, programmed projects for the year that are to be implemented which can be deferred, and other possible sources of funds that are available to them, which can be used to fill in the gap of their additional beneficiaries being requested from the DSWD so that they can come up with the same amount as dictated by the Regional Wage Rates of their area in an amelioration program of their City or Municipality.

Covid19 is a time of crisis, that calls for unity, brotherhood, sisterhood, and healing as one nation! The DSWD thanks all the LGUs, the AFP and the Coast Guard, the PNP, all Agencies of Government, stakeholders, donors, and the Filipino people for their cooperation, patience and support. ###