Kalinga Party-list Rep. Irene Saulog has seemingly responded to viral calls for government to provide Filipinos with another round of “ayuda” or cash aid.
Saulog filed in the ongoing 19th Congress House Bill (HB) No.2022, or the proposed Act providing cash aid to all Filipinos.
“In order to provide relief from the heavy burden brought about by the ongoing pandemic and the rapid rise of goods and services, a one-time cash aid of P2,000 will be provided to all Filipinos,” read the measure.
“The cash aid will be provided to all Filipinos residing in the Philippines during the implementation of the program,” the bill said of its coverage. It gave no distinction on age, sex, or any grouping as to the beneficiaries.
Saulog’s justification for the cash aid is the lingering effect of the Covid-19 pandemic, which “still hovers like a dark cloud in the country. Its ill effects continue to linger and haunt Filipinos.”
“This ayuda for all Filipinos will be an equitable means of providing assistance especially to those who neglected in the previous programs of the government,” the bill stated.
Referring to cash aid programs during the height of the pandemic two years ago, the bill said that these programs gave cash to the recipients included in the priority lists prepared by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in coordination with the local government units (LGUs).
“While these programs had the noblest of intentions, the implementation was far from ideal. Many were left out. In fact, millions of families were included in the second tranche of ayuda in 2020 after their appeal. It only proves that the priority list prepared was not fully responsive and up-to-date,” the bill said.
“It did not include all those in dire need of assistance during the height of the pandemic. It is safe to estimate that there are millions more who fell through the cracks. Many who lost jobs during the pandemic simply did not get a chance to be included in the priority list,” it further stated.
Saulog set a budget of P218 billion for the implementation of the proposed Act–enough to cover 109 million individuals. This is roughly the population of the Philippines.
During the previous 18th Congress, Taguig-Pateros lone district Rep. and former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano proposed a way for government to raise enough money that would supposedly allow the grant of a P10,000 cash aid to each Filipino family.
This supposed P10,000 cash aid would eventually have a mind of its own and get memed endlessly on social media.