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Cash aid for COVID victims proposed

FORMER Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and Taguig Rep. Lani Cayetano have led their allies in filing a bill that seeks to distribute additional cash assistance to families affected by the coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic.

The bill proposes to create the Bangon Pamilyang Pilipino (BPP) Assistance Program, which will provide beneficiaries P1,500 per family member or P10,000 per household, whichever would be higher.

“This bill ensures that each and every Filipino is given additional assistance, in recognition that we all have been affected by the pandemic, economic setbacks, and all the hardships brought about in the year 2020,” the lawmakers said in their explanatory note.

Priority beneficiaries under the program are senior citizens, persons with disabilities, solo parents, displaced workers, medical frontliners, families of overseas Filipino workers, individuals who were not able to secure aid through the Social Amelioration Program, Philippine National ID holders, and members of vulnerable groups.

Co-authoring the proposed measure are Camarines Sur 2nd District Rep. Luis Raymund “LRay” Villafuerte, Jr., Batangas 2nd District Rep. Raneo Abu, Laguna 1st District Rep. Dan Fernandez, Bulacan 1st District Rep. Jose Antonio “Kuya” Sy-Alvarado, and ANAKALUSUGAN Partylist Rep. Michael Defensor.

The bill also aims to boost “drive household consumption up and in turn help our economy recover” after the country suffered its worst economic contraction since the Second World War.

“Although Filipinos are known for their grit and resilience, assistance to our countrymen is still needed to help them survive and get back on their feet,” the lawmakers said.

“Extraordinary times require extraordinary measures to boost both the economy and the lives of the Filipino people,” they added.

In an interview with reporters on Saturday, the former Speaker had said the continuing distribution of financial aid will help both consumers and suppliers and boost economic performance.

“Yung P10,000 per family, parang kukuha ka sa kaliwang bulsa, babalik din sa kanan, dahil iikot din ‘yon sa ating ekonomiya,” he said.