You are probably feeling the financial impact of the extended ECQ by now. It definitely has affected the way we earn money and how we find new earning opportunities, and not in a good way.
Thankfully, the government is extending its financial support through its Social Amelioration Programs (SAP) under the mandate of the Republic Act 11469, or the “Bayanihan to Heal as One Act”.
The programs cover both relief and recovery packages for Filipino families and businesses under the supervision of the DILG, DTI, and Department of Finance, just to name a few.
Image taken from Official Gazette
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is one of the agencies assigned to handle the “Tulong Pinansyal – Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations (AICS).
This program grants financial support to 18 million low-income families affected by the work stoppage, with financial assistance ranging from P5,000 to P8,000.
Who are the target beneficiaries?
Beneficiaries of this financial assistance program are low-income households, individuals who are self-employed, and workers who are under the informal economy, such as:
- 4P’s (Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program) beneficiaries
- Informal workers (independent contractors, self-employed, directly hired or occasional workers, subcontractors, homeworkers, house helps, transportation network vehicle service drivers like Grab drivers, employees under “No work, no pay” policy, and more
- Other household members that belong to vulnerable sectors (senior citizens, persons with disability, solo parents, pregnant and lactating women, OFW in distress, underprivileged and homeless people
For the complete list of beneficiaries, find more info here.
How to receive AICS financial support via DSWD
“Tulong Pinansyal” – Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations (AICS) provides financial assistance of P5,000 to P8,000 per month, for two consecutive months during the ECQ, to 18 million families classified as low-income earners.
Local Government Units (LGUs) will list down the beneficiaries of this program. The Department of Local Government (DILG), together with the DSWD, Department of Agriculture (DA), and Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), will use their database to determine the eligible families and individuals who will receive the support.
Eligible beneficiaries will receive cash per month based on the minimum wage rate of the region.
Here’s a table of the minimum wage rate per region and the subsidy per month.
|Region||Daily Minimum Wage in PHP||Subsidy Per Month in PHP|
LGUs will distribute the Social Amelioration Cards (SAC) on a house-to-house basis. Keep in mind that these cards are validation tools to help LGUs review and identify families who need financial help.
Step 1: The authorized LGU personnel will distribute the SAC forms to households. Stay at home and wait for the authorized personnel to deliver it to your home.
Screenshot from DSWD official video
Step 2: The head of the family will fill out the two copies of the SAC form in bold, capital letters with the necessary information. All fields and boxes should be filled out.
Screenshot from DSWD official video
Step 3: Keep one copy for your reference and give the other copy to the LGU. Only authorized LGU personnel will collect the SAC forms.
Screenshot from DSWD official video
The SAC form is only a validation tool and does not guarantee that you will receive financial support. It’s still subject to approval, and distribution of financial assistance will still prioritize families who are in immediate need.
If approved, the DSWD and the rest of assigned agencies will distribute the relief or assistance.
How to get financial support from CAMP
The COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) is under the supervision of the Department of Labor and Employment, which offers one-time financial assistance of P5,000 to formal workers affected by the temporary closure of establishments.
These formal workers will receive the financial assistance as a lump sum, non-conditional as per CAMP guidelines and regardless of their employment status.
To apply for CAMP financial assistance, you must be an owner of a private establishment that implemented temporary closure due to COVID-19.
Applicants need to submit the following documentary requirements:
- Establishment Report on the COVID-19 pursuant to Labor Advisory No. 09, Series of 2020
- Company Payroll for the month (must be before the implementation of ECQ)
Documents and applications are submitted online. And if you’re qualified, DOLE will send the financial support directly to the payroll account of the beneficiary via bank transfer.
Cash payroll can be transferred via money remittance.
If you’re running a private establishment, you can visit the DOLE website for more details.
How to get financial support from the Small Business Wage Subsidy (SBWS) Program
If you’re an employee of an eligible business or establishment, you may also consider applying for the SBWS under the supervision of the Social Security System (SSS).
The SBWS helps employees affected by the work stoppage during the ECQ. The wage subsidy is given for up to two months, which will hopefully help businesses retain their employees.
Image taken from PCOO Facebook
The wage subsidy ranges from P5,000 to P8,000, which is based on the minimum wage of the region (per month) of the employee.
Both the employer and employee should complete the application process. The employer will certify the employee has met the criteria and is qualified to receive the subsidy.
As of this writing, SSS will only accept applications from 16 April to 08 May 2020.
Employees applying for SBWS must be active SSS members and registered taxpayers.
In case you also qualify for the COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) subsidy, you will only receive your SBWS subsidy for the first month to avoid duplication.
For eligibility and required documents, visit DOF for more details.
Cash Assistance for Rice Farmers
Eligible rice farmers that have farm sizes ranging from 1 hectare and below can apply for Rice Farmer Financial Assistance.
This program is under the supervision of the Department of Agriculture (DA), offering a one-time provision of P5,000 in decoupled payments.
Farmers must be registered in the updated Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture.
Other financial assistance and loans for businesses
If you’re a business owner, you may also receive financial assistance from the government with the following loans:
Survival and Recovery (SURE) Assistance for Marginalized, Small Farmers and Fishers
- For eligible small farmers and fishers affected by the ECQ
- Interest-free loan assistance in the amount of P25,000
- No collateral or security requirement
Recovery Package for Micro and Small Enterprises
- For eligible borrowers running micro and small enterprises engaged in agriculture, fisheries, and other supply chain activities
- Eligible borrowers in the agriculture and fisheries production can avail P300,000 loan assistance up to 90% of the projected cost but not exceeding P15 million to help recover losses during ECQ. For example, your total projected cost is P1,000,000, you can borrow up to 90% of this amount.
COVID-19 P3 ERF (for Micro and Small Enterprises)
- Loan amount of P10,000 up to P500,000 (small enterprises with asset size not exceeding P10,000,000)
- Loan amount of P10,000 up to P200,000 (micro-enterprises)
- A discounted monthly interest rate of 0.5%
- A prolonged grace period until the crisis subsides
We hope this list will serve as a guide in case you need financial support and you’re an eligible beneficiary.
What do you think of these financial assistance programs? Are they enough to sustain a household during this ECQ? Let us know in the comments below.