Households under GCQ may be considered for second tranche of cash aid

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 23) — Malacañang has formally ordered the inclusion of five million more beneficiaries in the second tranche of cash aid for poor families amid the coronavirus crisis.

In a May 22 memorandum released on Saturday, the Palace ordered concerned government agencies to "include the additional five million eligible households to the twelve million beneficiaries under the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation program of the DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development)."

This brings the total number of beneficiaries for the second tranche to 17 million.

As earlier announced, priority would be given to households under enhanced community quarantine and modified ECQ. The Palace memorandum clarified that "households most affected by the continuing restrictions in the operation of certain industries and sectors in areas under a general community quarantine may still be considered for the second tranche."

The list is subject to validation of national government agencies and local government units, according to the order signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.

Much of the country is under GCQ, while Cebu City and Mandaue City are under ECQ. Metro Manila and the provinces of Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga and Zambales are under MECQ -- considered as a transition phase toward the more relaxed GCQ.

Malacañang also directed the DSWD, in coordination with the Department of Information and Communications Technology and National Privacy Commission to expedite the creation of an online portal with the list of all eligible beneficiaries of the Social Amelioration Program.

This will enable the public to give feedback and check whether the beneficiaries are indeed entitled for aid, Palace said, stressing that data privacy laws should be followed.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government on Friday said it was still collating reports on poor families who were left out of the first tranche, so they can be prioritized for the next wave of cash aid distribution.

Low-income families are entitled to ₱5,000 to ₱8,000 worth of assistance for April and May under the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act.