QC solon files bill extending cash aid for urban poor during pandemic

Quezon City Rep. Precious Hipolito-Castelo has filed a bill extending social amelioration subsidy for the urban poor households to enable them to survive the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Now, more than ever, it behooves the government to underwrite enhanced social amelioration subsidy in favor of the urban poor households who have taken the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Castelo said in the explanatory note of House Bill No. 7613 or the proposed COVID-19 Social Amelioration Subsidy to Urban Poor Households Act.

Castelo lamented that since the outbreak, daily wage earners subsists solely on the dole-outs provided by the government.

“During pre-COVID times, the urban poor could hardly make ends meet with the open opportunity given them. How would they fare now? The government should do more to save them,” Castelo said.

“The bill seeks to institute continuous social amelioration subsidy with the end in view of seeing ever urban poor household decently survive the pandemic,” she added.

HB No. 7613 entitles every urban poor household to continuously receive social amelioration subsidy from the government as long as the COVID-19 pandemic exists in the country.

Under the bill, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is mandated to oversee the implementation of the proposed Act.

The DSWD is expected to issue the implementing rules and regulations for the effective operationalization of the proposed Act.

Castelo’s measure provides that the DSWD, in coordination with the concerned local government unit (LGU), shall come up with a validated master list of names and households.

HB 7613 mandates the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to allocate the amount the necessary to effectively carry out the intent of the proposed Act.

The proposed Act shall take effect 15 days after the publication in the Official Gazette or in at least two newspapers of general circulation.