Gov’t urged to include poor under GCQ in 2nd SAP aid

May 23, 2020

A HOUSE leader on Saturday urged Executive Sec. Salvador Medialdea to include poor families in provinces under general community quarantine (GCQ) in the second tranche of the social amelioration program (SAP) amid coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, the chairman of the House committee on constitutional amendments, made the appeal after the

Executive secretary issued a memorandum last Friday limiting the second installment of SAP financial assistance to 12 million families  in enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and modified ECQ areas, plus five million households that did not receive aid last month.

“I am asking ES Medialdea to reconsider his decision and to already include the low income households in the GCQ areas in the second tranche this month,” said Rodriguez.

Rodriguez said it is clear in the Bayanihan to Heal as One Law, or Republic Act (RA) No. 11469, that 18 million low-income families would receive SAP aid ranging from P5,000 to P8,000 for two months - last month and this month.

In passing the law, Rodriguez said Congress empowered President Duterte to realign the 2020 budget to generate the funding requirement for SAP.

“They don’t need to go back to Congress,” he added.

He pointed out that if the second tranche of SAP would be limited to ECQ and modified ECQ areas, only poor families in Metro Manila, some

Luzon provinces and two cities in Cebu would receive aid

“The poor in most provinces, who, like those in Metro Manila, were without jobs and income during the two-month ECQ, would be excluded.

I think that is not the intention of the President and Congress,” said Rodriguez.

The government is now preparing for the distribution of SAP aid for this month.

Meanwhile, ACT-CIS party-list Rep. Niña Taduran called on everyone to unite instead of criticizing each other amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Let’s get our acts together. This is not the time to be bickering. I understand that everyone is on edge, but irresponsible remarks will not lead us to the solution to this COVID-19 problem,” said Taduran.

Taduran was reacting to the misunderstanding between Presidential Adviser on Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion and some doctors regarding the rapid testing for employees.

“We need to get the economy back on its feet again but we can’t rush it. 

Let’s listen to the health experts because they know more about this unseen enemy. From there, adjust our actions in reviving the economy,” Taduran suggested.

“I am in favor of testing employees but rapid testing should be judiciously used. One can have the antibody but not an active COVID-19 carrier. So, mas mainam talaga ang targeted instead of mass testing ng empleyado. Maiiwasan din ang stigma kung magfo-false positive ang empleyado dahil may antibody siya, pero hindi naman pala active COVID-19 carrier,” Taduran pointed out.