A measure has been filed in the House of Representatives seeking to give a one-time cash aid of P2,000 to all Filipinos to provide relief from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the rising prices of goods and services.
In filing the proposed "Universal Ayuda Act", Kalinga party-list Rep. Irene Gay Saulog said that while the government has prepared programs to assist Filipinos during times of crisis, their implementation was "far from ideal."
Saulog said millions of families were only included in the second tranche of government in 2020 after making an appeal, showing that the priority list for this program was "not fully responsive and up-to-date." She also cited the anomalies that hounded the distribution of cash aid to poor Filipinos, where the "palakasan" system in many areas prevailed.
"This encapsulates what this bill intends to accomplish --- that no Filipino should be left behind during the pandemic," Saulog said.
"This bill proposes the provision of ayuda for all Filipinos. This is in keeping with the State policy to free Filipinos from poverty and provide adequate social services to all," she added.
Under the measure, an amount of P218 billion will be set aside to provide the P2,000 cash aid to all Filipinos.
If enacted into law, the Philippine Statistics Authority, the Department of the Interior and Local Government, and the Department of Information and Communications Technology will be tasked to promulgate the rules and regulations to implement the act.
"By giving ayuda to all Filipinos, we will ensure that all those who suffered and continue to suffer will receive cash aid," Saulog said.