Gov’t releases P158-B for social amelioration programs

Published April 20, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Argyll Geducos

Around P158 billion has been allotted so far for six social amelioration programs (SAPs) intended to help those affected by the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) imposed to contain the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (RICHARD MADELO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO)
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (RICHARD MADELO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO)

In his fourth report to Congress, President Duterte said P100 billion was allotted for the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) Assistance to Individuals in Crisis (AICS) Program that aims to help 18 million families.

Around P4 billion was allotted for the three social amelioration programs of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), namely the COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) for affected formal workers, CAMP Abot-Kamay and Pagtulong (AKAP) for displaced overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), and Tulong Panghanapbuhay para sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD).

Some P3 billion was allotted to the Department of Agriculture’s financial subsidy for rice farmers that aims to help 591,246 individuals.

The Department of Finance (DOF), Social Security System (SSS), and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) launched the Small Business Wage Subsidy (SBWS) program worth P51 billion to cover 3.4 million employees in small businesses affected by the ECQ.

Securing human resources, facilities

The President wrote in his report that the Department of Health (DOH) proposed to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) a P5.2-billion budget proposal for the hiring of additional 17,757 personnel for COVID-19 response to be deployed in COVID-19 referral hospitals. As of April 16, 743 healthcare workers have been temporarily deployed.

Based on the report, the government now has 693 medical facilities including hospitals, 8,714 dedicated beds for COVID-19, and 1,697 mechanical ventilators.

Quarantine facilities

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has converted 36 evacuation centers into health/quarantine facilities, while 16 other facilities were converted to accommodate 4,748 patients.

Five state universities and colleges (SUCs) are currently being used as temporary quarantine facilities, and nine others are being considered as well. The Department of Education (DepEd) also approved the use of 660 schools for COVID-19 related concerns.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Quarantine has assigned 30 teams to 44 hotel-quarantine facilities and has deployed employees to oversee the mandatory 14-day quarantine of overseas Filipinos.

 
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