THE City Government of Bacolod will receive additional financial assistance from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) as the city has been placed under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).
This was stressed by Congressman Greg Gasataya after DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista informed him Thursday, September 24, that they will provide more financial assistance to the city based on the Bayanihan Act II, which was earlier approved by President Rodrigo Duterte.
Gasataya earlier asked Bautista to provide additional cash assistance for Bacolod as it has been placed under MECQ.
In his letter dated September 24 and addressed to Gasataya, Baustista said the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) entitles eligible beneficiaries to receive financial assistance subsidy as mandated by the already-lapsed Republic Act No. 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act. As of September 2, the DSWD has already served around 97 percent of the identified beneficiaries from the local government units.
He said the DSWD Field Office-Western Visayas reported that a total of P588,858,000 for 98,143 qualified beneficiaries in the first tranche of the SAP was distributed in Bacolod City. An amount of P498,078,000 is currently being distributed to 83,013 qualified beneficiaries.
Bautista said the locally imposed quarantine measures and lockdown helped control the spread of the virus, however, these factors still had a drastic impact on the economy. To mitigate such impact and the crisis it brought to the populace, the Bicameral Conference Committee has approved on its level the Bayanihan Act II, which aims to provide response and recovery interventions to the communities.
The Bayanihan Act II was ratified by the Senate on August 20, the House of Representatives on August 24, and was approved by the president on September 11.
Bautista said based on Bayanihan Act II, an allocation amounting to P6 billion was designated to DSWD for the implementation of its programs to help those affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said the DSWD recognizes the community quarantine classification of Bacolod City and that the needs of the people will be considered for assessment and validation to determine their qualifications in receiving the emergency subsidy.
For his part, Gasataya said he is thankful to the DSWD for prioritizing Bacolod City in the distribution of subsidies.
He said the cash assistance is a big help for Bacolodnons who are affected by the MECQ.
Pacita Tero, head of Department of Social Services and Development (DSSD), also said they are now evaluating the beneficiaries of the financial assistance.
She said they can accommodate 100 persons daily at the Bacolod Government Center to interview those who want to avail of the cash aid.
She added several persons on Wednesday lined up at the Bacolod Government Center. Some of them were advised to go home to observe social distancing.
Tero disclosed they will prioritize the transport groups and the poorest of the poor.