After 7 weeks of lockdown: Meager cash aid puts HHs below official poverty line

Research group IBON said that 97% of 11.4 million served
beneficiaries are barely surviving the lockdown with cash aid that is way below
the official poverty line. Meanwhile, 37% of 18 million low-income households
are still waiting to receive social amelioration after seven weeks of enhanced
community quarantine (ECQ). The group said that, already so late in the game,
the government urgently needs to pick up its pace if it really intends to aid
millions of struggling Filipino families.

Based on Pres. Duterte’s latest report to Congress, IBON
said that the administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has dragged on
for too long and is still insufficient, pushing many vulnerable households into
deeper poverty.

A total of 11.4 million beneficiaries were reported to have
been given social amelioration from various government agency programs. Of
this, IBON estimates that 11 million or 97% of served beneficiaries have
received emergency subsidies equivalent to just Php80-119 per day over 49 days
of lockdown. This is as little as just one-fourth (23%) of the very low
official poverty line of about Php353 per day for a family of five.

These include 4Ps beneficiaries (3.8 million) that got only Php89
per day of cash aid; non-4Ps beneficiaries (6.4 million) with Php119/day,
DOLE-CAMP workers (522,855) with Php102/day; and TUPAD informal workers (254,071)
with just Php80/day.

PUV/TNVS drivers and overseas workers supposedly received
relatively higher support of some Php8,000 and Php10,000 respectively. However,
these are also still below the official poverty line of Php10,727 monthly on
average nationwide.

Meanwhile, there are still millions of households that have
not received promised emergency subsidies for more than a month-and-a-half. If
just 11.4 million beneficiaries were given assistance, this means that 6.6
million or 37% of the targeted 18 million low-income families still have not
gotten anything.

IBON said that government’s laggard and militaristic response to the pandemic has left millions of Filipino families struggling to meet their basic needs. Emergency subsidies during the lockdown are not enough. The government should ensure that all families needing assistance are given sufficient support not just to recover from the devastating impact of the COVID-19 lockdown but also to survive the economic crisis that has set in.

4Ps – Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program; DOLE –
Department of Labor and Employment; CAMP – COVID-19 Adjustment Measures
Program; TUPAD – Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers
program; PUV – public utility vehicle; TNVS – transport network vehicle
services

Facebook Comments