Low-income families in areas under “granular lockdowns” starting last September 13 are entitled to receive “once” an emergency cash subsidy ranging from P5,000 to P8,000 regardless of the number of times that their area has been declared under granular lockdown, and regardless of any extension in the declared lockdown.
This was according to the 15-page Memorandum Circular No. 22, series of 2020, signed by DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista on October 5, 2020, which laid down the guidelines on the implementation of the Bayanihan 2 Emergency Subsidy Program (ESP) and the agency’s COVID-19 response and recovery intervention programs. Bayanihan 2, which took effect on September 13, 2020, allocates some P6 billion to finance the DSWD programs.
Under the special guidelines, Bautista stressed that the Republic Act No. 11494 or Bayanihan 2 is “not to be interpreted as “SAP 3” or successor of SAP 1 and 2” under the already-lapsed RA No. 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act, “or the continuation” of the Bayanihan 1.
The DSWD said the target beneficiaries of the subsidy program are the following:
-affected low-income families in areas under gradual lockdown
-those qualified families, but were not granted SAP 1 and 2 subsidy under RA No. 11469, and
-recently returned overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who belong to a low-income family and are physically residing in an area under granular lockdown.
“The final certified list of beneficiaries used in the implementation of the ESP of the DSWD shall be the primary reference of the eligible beneficiaries,” the guidelines said.
Using the final certified list, the concerned local government units (LGUs) shall identify the beneficiaries who are physically residing within all levels of granular lockdown: barangay, block, street, subdivision/village, residential building or house.
Under the guidelines, the LGUs shall conduct the distribution of the emergency subsidy in case there will be transfer of funds, in accordance with the terms and conditions of the memorandum of agreement.
The LGUs are also expected to provide logistical support, as needed to the DSWD in the case of direct payout or payment through financial service providers (FSPs).
Based on Oct. 5 circular, the schemes or modes of payment may include, but not limited to: transfer of funds to LGUs; electronic or digital payment; or direct cash payout, which either the Field Offices or the Central Office may resort to in the distribution of emergency subsidy.
The LGUs are also expected to identify and prepare the venue where the payout will be conducted taking into consideration the minimum health standards set by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), and if needed, provide the necessary shuttle services, assistance, and logistical support to the DSWD.
The DSWD guidelines also require the LGUs to immediately post in all its websites, social media accounts, and at conspicuous places the list of beneficiaries who already received the emergency subsidy.
The LGUs are also tasked to submit a written report on any concern or issue encountered at the time of the distribution for the purpose of improving the subsequent delivery of the programs and services of the DSWD through the LGUs.
Apart from the ESP, the DSWD is expected to implement the following programs: Livelihood Assistance Grant (LAG), Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS); Supplementary Feeding Program for day-care children, Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens (SocPen), and distribution of food and non-food items.