GENERAL SANTOS CITY – Nearly 4,000 families in Region 12 (Soccsksargen) have already received financial assistance from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) under Republic Act (RA) 11494 or Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan 2).
Cezario Joel Espejo, DSWD Region 12 director, said Thursday they have so far released around PHP19.6 million in grants to qualified households as part of the continuing rollout of their emergency subsidy program (ESP) for residents affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
He said the ESP was among the assistance programs earlier approved by the national government under Bayanihan 2.
A total of 3,920 household-beneficiaries from parts of the received one-time cash assistance of PHP5,000 each, he said.
“The processing of the assistance is ongoing and more beneficiaries are being added to the list every week through endorsements from local government units (LGUs),” Espejo told reporters.
The official said the recipients were composed of “low-income” families that were affected by the granular lockdowns implemented by the LGUs due to the confirmed cases of Covid-19 in their areas.
He said these families were not covered in the first and second waves of the Social Amelioration Program that was implemented under RA 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act (Bayanihan 1).
The recipients included returned overseas Filipino workers who belong to low-income families and physically residing in areas included in the granular lockdowns, he said.
Espejo said all qualified households, regardless of the number, of the affected communities were given cash assistance.
Aside from the emergency subsidy, he said the release of livelihood assistance grants under Bayanihan 2 is ongoing in the region’s four provinces and five cities.
The recipients, who qualified for grants of up to PHP50,000, are marginalized rural workers and micro-entrepreneurs who were also hit hard by the Covid-19 crisis.
They include self-employed individuals and those working in family workshops, jeepney drivers, fisherfolk, and farmers.
Espejo said the region received an additional allocation of PHP22.4 million for the program, with PHP15.7 already disbursed to the beneficiaries.
DSWD-12 had received an initial allocation of PHP45.1 million for the livelihood assistance, which is a component of its Sustainable Livelihood Program, covering a total of 6,998 beneficiaries. (PNA)