Government Assistance You Can Get During This Pandemic

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To date, the crisis facing our country against COVID-19 has not yet ended and number of cases continue to arise. It has been more than four (4) months since the Philippine government declared Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in the entire Luzon as well as other parts of the country. Later then, it became General Community Quarantine and Modified General Community Quarantine (GCQ/MGCQ or a less strict quarantine).

It is a total lockdown restricting the movement of the population except for necessity, work, and health circumstances, in response to the growing pandemic COVID-19 in the country. In addition, temporary closure of non-essential shops and businesses are mandated resulting to unemployment of many people.

Most affected are those poor Filipinos who rely solely on their daily income. If they do not work, they’ll have nothing to eat – “Isang kahig, Isang tuka” thus hoping for the government assistance.

Due to this situation, Filipinos are looking forward to the help that government will provide. Many homeless and slum-dwellers are worrying about their starving stomach. The national government somehow provides ways to sustain the basic needs of Filipinos.

The number of cases continuously climb and still no vaccine yet to contend against the disease. It is still uncertain when the lockdown will end. Bayanihan to Heal as One Act was enacted last March 2020 in order to resolve the pandemic in the Philippines.

The act would allow President Duterte to “reallocate, realign, and reprogram” a budget from the estimated national budget approved for 2020, in response to the pandemic. Click this link for more details.

Government Assistance or “Ayuda” during COVID-19 Pandemic

Of course, the financial impact to about fifty-seven (57) million Filipinos under quarantine is inevitable. The most common government aid or “ayuda” provided by the local government are foods or relief goods. What else?

Social Amelioration Program (SAP)

It is a cash subsidy program to eighteen (18) million Filipino families whose lives are greatly affected by ECQ headed by Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). In cooperation with DOLE, DTI, DA, DOF, DBM, and DILG.

Families under the DSWD’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) are automatically qualified and are priority beneficiaries of SAP. The first wave of the SAP cash assistance of five thousand to eight thousand pesos were already distributed to qualified families. Read this article for more details about SAP.

DOLE – Covid Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP)

It is a one-time five thousand cash assistance for employees from the formal sectors or workers hired by private companies or establishments regardless of their employment status (permanent, probationary, or contractual). But, workers receiving their salaries during ECQ are not qualified. Read this article for more details about CAMP.

Small Business Wage Subsidy (SBWS) Program

Under the Small Business Wage Subsidy (SBWS) measure, the government through the Social Security System (SSS), shall provide a wage subsidy of between five thousand to eight thousand pesos (based on the regional minimum wage) per month per eligible employee. Priority will be given to employees who are BIR and SSS registered and compliant with SSS and BIR regulations. First tranche released from May 1 to May 15, second tranche released from May 16 to May 31. Read this article for more details about SBWS Program.

SSS Calamity Assistance Program (CLAP) – Calamity Loan

The Social Security System (SSS) is now offering its Calamity Loan Assistance Program (CLAP) for members affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Members may apply for a loan up to twenty thousand pesos depending on their monthly salary credit in the last twelve months. Qualified members can apply for loan until September 24, 2020. Read this article for more details about CLAP.

DOLE-AKAP Cash Assistance for OFWs

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has issued the guidelines on the provision of financial assistance to displaced Landbased and Sea-based Filipino workers due to coronavirus diseases (COVID-19), known as “DOLE-AKAP for OFWs”.

In this connection, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) started accepting online applications last April 2020. To avail of this USD200.00 or PHP10,000.00 financial assistance, read this article for more details of DOLE-AKAP for OFWs.

These are just some of the financial assistance from the government during this time of uncertainty. Cash assistance from local government is provided to those who are not qualified in the programs mentioned above. To name a few, tricycle and jeepney drivers, farmers, pension for seniors, educational assistance for students etc. For other list of government assistance schemes, click here.

We continue to pray for the world and our country. During this time, every peso counts and definitely, we learned a lesson the hard way. And that is to save money and to spend it wisely so that during the time of crisis, we can survive without income, relying solely on savings.

Related Article: Emergency Fund: Why Do We Need One

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Aileen Joy Flores
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