Most Pinoys relied on DSWD for aid during lockdown: SWS

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Residents queue during the distribution of cash assistance during Social Amelioration Program in BASECO, Manila on May 7, 2020. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — Most Filipinos relied on the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for cash aid during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a survey by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) released on Tuesday. 

The survey was a follow-up to SWS' previous poll which found that 72 percent of Filipinos said their families got financial aid from the government amid the COVID-19 crisis.

SWS said they asked respondents whose families received money-help from government the question: "What branch or agency of government did you receive the help like money?" 

The respondents were not provided with a list of choices, and were allowed to give up to three answers, SWS noted.

Topping the list of responses was the DSWD (41 percent), followed by the DSWD's social amelioration program or SAP (28 percent), local government units (14 percent), and the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps (11 percent). 

Other sources mentioned were SAP from unspecified government institutions (6 percent), Social Security System (4 percent), the Department of Labor and Employment (2 percent), aid for senior citizens and persons with disability (1 percent), and the Department of Agriculture (1 percent), and "others" (2 percent).

SWS said families that received cash aid got an average of P6,588 since the crisis began, or a median P6,000.

LGUs "most mentioned" sources in Metro Manila

Among those who received cash from government, the DSWD was the most mentioned source in Mindanao (62 percent) and the Visayas (55 percent). 

However, the LGUs were the most mentioned sources in Metro Manila (43 percent), while the DSWD and the DSWD’s SAP were equally most mentioned in Balance Luzon (32% each).

Meanwhile, DSWD was the most mentioned source among families of those in all education groups. 

Amount of cash aid received 

Among the families that received money-help from government since the start of the crisis, those in Metro Manila received the highest amount compared to those in Balance Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

According to the survey, families from Metro Manila received the highest amount of cash aid amounting to average of P8,354 (median P8,000), followed by Balance Luzon with average of P6,701 (median P6,500), Visayas with average of P5,988 (median P6,000), and Mindanao with average of P5,441 (median P5,000).

The survey was conducted from July 3 to 6 using mobile phone and computer-assisted telephone interviewing, in which 1,555 adult Filipinos participated. 

The Philippine government had initially allocated P200 billion for emergency subsidies ranging from P5,000 to P8,000 for at least 18 million poor families affected by the coronavirus pandemic in April and May.

However, for the second tranche of the SAP, only a total of 3.7 million families, or around 30 percent of their target beneficiaries, have so far received the cash aid. 

Under Executive Order 112 and the Joint Memorandum Circular No. 2 in May, only beneficiaries in areas classified as enhanced community quarantine will receive the second tranche. 

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