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Less than a quarter of 18 million poor Filipinos have received cash subsidies ranging from P5,000 to P8,000 from the national government, more than a month after the enhanced community quarantine started on March 16.

President Rodrigo Duterte’s monthly report to Congress on the implementation of Republic Act 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act showed mayors have been slow in giving money to Social Amelioration Program (SAP) beneficiaries even after the Department of Social Welfare and Development has transferred the cash to their bank accounts.

DSWD reported that only 4.054 million beneficiaries have received cash aid from the government as of April 18. This is just 22 percent of 17.956 million indigent Filipinos that the
government identified as the ones to be hurt the most by the enhanced community quarantine due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Bulk of the beneficiaries are the 3.721 million Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) which the DSWD has a reliable database. This is 84 percent of the 4.4 million 4Ps beneficiaries.

The biggest problem of distribution lies with local government officials, who have only released P617.417 million or a measly 4.5 percent of the 13.556 million non-4Ps beneficiaries.

DSWD said it has downloaded P73 billion or 90 percent of its cash subsidies to LGUs.

With only nine days left until the ECQ ends on April 30, the DSWD has to give out to 13.954 million beneficiaries or 1.55 million per day.

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