Poor in GCQ areas need cash aid -- solon

Rufus Rodriguez
Cagayan de Oro City, 2nd District Rep. Rufus Rodriguez.

A VETERAN solon is appealing to the national government to include poor families in the provinces under general community quarantine (GCQ) in the second tranche of social amelioration program (SAP).

Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez made the appeal following a Malacanangmemorandum  limiting the second installment of SAP financial assistance to 12 million families in enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and modified ECQ areas, plus 5 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,” Rodriguez said.

He said it is clear in the Bayanihan to Heal as One Law, or Republic Act 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.

Rodriguez said in passing the law, 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 not 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,” he said.

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