May 14, 2020

Today May 14, Malacañang announced that around 11.5 million families in areas under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) are targeted beneficiaries of the second tranche of the Social Amelioration Program’s (SAP) financial aid package consequently emphasizing that this excludes residents under general community quarantine (GCQ).

“Dito po sa pangalawang tranche sa buwan ng Mayo, ang makakakuha na lang po ay mga nasa area ng ECQ, at ang sumatutal po na lalabas dito ay 11.5 million families po ang makakakuha,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in an interview with DZMM.

The first installment of the P200-billion cash aid or P90.56 billion, however, has so far only been distributed to over 16 million families leaving out nearly 2 million of the intended beneficiaries as stated in the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act. 

And as of May 12, a total of 1,265 out of 1,634 LGUs in the country have reportedly met the May 10 deadline for the distribution of cash assistance under the first tranche of the social amelioration program.

Distribution of the social amelioration program in Eastern Visayas. Photo courtesy of

Earlier this week however, President Rodrigo Duterte also approved the addition of five million families that will benefit from the first tranche of the financial aid program. Roque said in a Palace briefing last Tuesday: “Hindi lang po 18 million ang mabibigyan ng SAP sa first tranche, madadagdagan pa po ng 5 million.”

Although, here is also where Roque notes that the second tranche of the subsidy will no longer cover low-income families that are under GCQ but only in areas with ECQ until May 15. 

“Ang rationale naman po kaya nilimit na sa ECQ areas, yung GCQ areas kasi kahit papaano nagbubukas na yung kanilang mga ekonomiya, nakakapagtrabaho na sila. Samantalang yung mga nasa ECQ, wala pa rin pong trabaho,” Roque explained today. 

While this statement has some grounding as we have been seeing establishments under GCQ resuming operations, if we look at the provision for the Subsidy Amelioration Program, something doesn’t seem to be adding up. 

Under the SAP of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, it states that 18 million poor families are should be given a monthly cash aid of P5,000 to P8,000 for two months under the P200-billion budget. 

Even if an additional 5 million families are set to be included in the first tranche, the Act, which was passed last Mar. 24, was set to cover two month’s worth of cash assistance for 18 million low-income families nationwide—and at present, it has only been over a month since the Act was passed. 



Photo courtesy of

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TAGS: bayanihan to heal as one act cash subsidy ecq gcq Harry Roque low-income families poverty president duterte sap