By Michaela Tangan
Features Writer, The Philippine STAR

On March 25, the government passed into law the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act (RA 11469). One of the provisions mandates the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DWSD) to implement nationwide social amelioration measures to aid the vulnerable sectors throughout the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) period. DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista said that the Social Amelioration Program will prioritize 18 million poor Filipino households.
Here’s what you need to know:

1. The following will receive P5,000 to P8,000 (cash and/or in kind) depending on the regions’ minimum wage rate: 4Ps beneficiaries, informal economy workers (directly hired or occasional workers), subcontracted workers, home workers, house helpers, public transportation drivers (pedicab, tricycle, PUVs, TNVS), micro-entrepreneurs and producers, family enterprise owners, sub-minimum wage owners, farmers, employees affected by the no-work, no-pay policy, stranded workers, other household members belonging to the vulnerable sectors (senior citizens, PWDs, pregnant and lactating women, solo parents, distressed OFWs, indigent IPs and homeless individuals).

2. Local government units (LGUs), through the barangays, will do house-to-house distribution of the Social Amelioration Cards (SAC) to be filled out by the household head. DSWD will validate the submitted SACs.

3. While the LGUs are tasked to distribute cash assistance and other aid, the national government — DSWD, DILG, AFP and PNP — will ensure proper distribution.

4. The ECQ in Luzon is up to April 12 while the strict social distancing in NCR is up to April 18. Before the said dates, the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) will issue new guidelines on transition mechanisms, depending on the recommendation of IATF’s technical working groups.

5. Under the law’s implementing rules and regulations (IRR), electric, utility, and telecommunication service providers, as well as lenders, will grant a 30-day grace period or extension for the payment to its customers.

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