Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian said the government should release the second tranche of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) to help families severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic cope with the economic recession.
Gatchalian made the call as the Philippine economy shrank by 16.5 percent for two straight quarters within the year due to the pandemic.
“The economic contraction created by the coronavirus pandemic will push numerous families back into poverty that will eventually worsen hunger and malnutrition in our country,” Gatchalian said.
“At this point, It is important for the government to guarantee that there is food on the table for every Filipino family,” the senator stressed.
“I implore the government to expedite the distribution of the second tranche of the SAP to the 18 million low income beneficiaries since most areas have again been placed under stricter quarantine protocols."
Gatchalian said the government should also continue providing the SAP even if the community reverts back to general community quarantine (GCQ) after this two-week modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).
“Given that many of our constituents may not be able to go back to their respective work under a MECQ, the government should continue to give out the SAP even if we revert to GCQ.
“This is to ensure that no family will go hungry with the economy in tailspin under the pandemic,” the senator said.