The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) assured it will provide social amelioration measures amounting to PHP5,000 to PHP8,000 for two months to families belonging to vulnerable sectors affected by the enhanced community quarantine amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) crisis as mandated by Republic Act 11469 or the “Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.”
The Emergency Subsidy Program includes the DSWD’s provision of food and non-food items (FNFI) and financial assistance through the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) as well as those provided by other agencies, provided that the benefits received by each household does not exceed the prescribed threshold per region.
The PHP5,000 to PHP8,000 worth of social amelioration programs is based on the maximum subsidy per region determined from the region’s minimum wage levels as these are close approximations to the amount needed to buy basic food, medicine, and hygiene essentials. It will be given to an eligible family in cash and in kind by various national government agencies.
The provision of FNFI is part of the DSWD’s Technical Assistance and Resource Augmentation (TARA) to local government units in addressing the food needs of their constituents. AICS, on the other hand, provides integrated services to individuals and families in crisis situation which include financial assistance to assist them with their basic needs.
Likewise, Livelihood Assistance Grants (LAG) will be provided to a beneficiary-family of the Department’s Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) with at least one member who is a worker in the informal sector and is displaced due to the declaration of the community quarantine. The family must be in the master list endorsed by the LGU to the DSWD Field Office (FO) and must still undergo assessment by a DSWD staff.
The LAG will be given after the quarantine period has been lifted to help the families start anew.
LGUs will prepare the list of the target beneficiaries of the social amelioration measures and endorse this with the complete documentary requirements to the concerned DSWD FO for verification.
A Social Amelioration Card (SAC) that captures the family profile will be distributed to the LGUs to enable the beneficiaries to access the assistance. It will also serve as a monitoring tool to avoid duplication of delivery of services.
DSWD will also use the existing list of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) and the Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT) Program to validate the list submitted by LGUs.
Families under the 4Ps will also be supported with a top-up on their grants and rice subsidy to reach the maximum benefit per region. The 4Ps beneficiaries are most vulnerable to economic, social and physical shocks such as this health crisis, thus, the need to augment their existing grants to help them with their daily needs.
The social amelioration measures will help mitigate the socio-economic impact of the Covid-19 health crisis and the enhanced community quarantine to the target beneficiaries, particularly the senior citizens, persons with disability, pregnant and lactating mothers, solo parents, overseas Filipinos in distress, indigent Indigenous Peoples, homeless citizens, and the informal economy workers.
The measures are contained in the Joint Memorandum Circular forged by DSWD, Department of Labor and Employment, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Agriculture, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Finance (DOF), and the Department of Budget and Management.
DSWD also vowed to strengthen its coordination with the LGUs to provide the delivery of maagap at mapagkalingang serbisyo (prompt and compassionate service) to the poor, vulnerable, and disadvantaged, while putting premium to the health and safety of its beneficiaries and personnel in this time of public health emergency. (PR)