MANILA, Philippines — A Senate proposal to include an additional 5.4 million family beneficiaries in the COVID-19 emergency subsidy program will cost the government around P66.4 billion, according to the third weekly report that President Rodrigo Duterte sent to Congress on Monday.
The additional beneficiaries will allow the program to cover 95% of the total number of families in the country. But the President said: “Considering the limited resources of the government, it might be prudent to prioritize allocating resources in accordance with RA No. 11469 to immediately assist the poorest.”
Republic Act No. 11469, or the Bayanihan Act as One to Heal Act, granted Duterte additional powers to deal with the COVID-19 crisis but required him to submit to Congress a weekly report on this implementation of the law.
Earlier, the national government, under that law, had set aside P200 billion cash assistance to some 18 million low-income households, with each one receiving from P5,000 to P8,000 per month for two months.
Some lawmakers then called for the inclusion of middle-class households in the cash assistance.
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