MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang’s decision to leave out of its cash aid the poor living under general community quarantine (GCQ) is breaking the Bayanihan to Heal as One law, said a public interest organization that conducts policy analysis and advocacy on key economic issues.
The Action for Economic Reform quoted the law as saying that 18 million low-income households will get a subsidy amounting to P5,000 to P8,000 a month for two months.
The first installment of the P200-billion cash aid, or P90.56 billion, has already been distributed to over 16 million families, leaving out nearly 2 million of the intended beneficiaries.
But with the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in some areas easing into a GCQ starting on May 16, Malacañang said the second tranche of the cash aid would only be given to those still living in ECQ.
The group said this move was “illegal” and the government’s executive branch had “no authority to amend [the law].”
“The reality is that the 4P and non-4P households will still need the assistance from government even if they live in an area where the ECQ [would] be lifted,” the group said, referring to the conditional cash transfer program called Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.
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