Group decries cash aid loss for GCQ families

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.

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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.

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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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