DSWD begins distribution of initial COVID-19 cash aid to poor families — IATF

Robie de Guzman   •   April 3, 2020   •   1487

MANILA, Philippines – The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) announced that the distribution of cash assistance to poor families heavily-affected by the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis will begin Friday.

IATF Spokesperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the Department of Social and Welfare Development (DSWD) will start the distribution of cash aid to poor households in the cities of Manila and Parañaque.

The financial assistance for other parts of the country will be delivered in the coming days, he added.

“We have been informed by the DSWD that the subsidies will be distributed starting today in Manila and Parañaque, and we expect other jurisdictions to be distributing these to their residents in the next few days,” Nograles said in a virtual press briefing.

“Hintayin lamang po ninyo ang pakikipag-ugnayan sa inyo ng mga naatasang kawani hinggil sa sistemang ipatutupad upang maayos itong maipapamigay,” he added.

Under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Law, the government has allocated P200 billion for its social amelioration program aiming to provide relief to 18 million poor households deeply-affected by the public health crisis.

The program’s qualified beneficiary will receive cash subsidies, ranging from P5,000 to P8,000, according to the minimum daily wage rate in their respective regions.

Nograles also said that the cash aid for the beneficiaries of the government’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) will also be released starting Friday.

However, he urged 4Ps beneficiaries to wait for the announcement when the assistance has already been credited to their cash cards.

“Sa mga benepisyaryo ng 4Ps, ngayong araw din po sisimulang ipasok sa inyong mga card ang benepisyong ito. Uulitin ko ang paalala, maghintay ng anunsyo upang hindi tayo magkumpulan sa mga bangko,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Department of Labor and Employment urged all employees affected by the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine to avail of the government’s COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP).

CAMP offers a one-time P5,000 financial support to employees of companies or business establishments affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

DOLE said employees may apply for subsidy on their own if their employers refuse to submit their payroll.

For inquiries regarding the cash assistance, workers can visit DOLE’s website, its official Facebook page or contact them at hotline 1349. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

PNP mulls reopening of Custodial Center to visitors amid COVID-19 crisis

Robie de Guzman   •   May 29, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Friday said it will assess whether its Custodial Center can be reopened to visitors amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis.

PNP chief Police General Archie Gamboa said they need to thoroughly study the possibility of reopening the facility because of its proximity to quarantine facilities housing police personnel infected with COVID-19 and the PNP RT-PCR test laboratory.

At present, the visitation of inmates at the PNP Custodial Center is prohibited in compliance with the safety and health protocols set by the government amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gamboa said they are only following the measure implemented by the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) in the detention facilities in the country.

“Standard naman ‘yung sinusunod natin, together with the BuCor and BJMP. We need to reassess whether to open up sa visitors yung Custodial Center,” he said.

Gamboa’s statement comes after opposition senators questioned the PNP’s move to bar Senator Leila de Lima from accepting visitors and holding physical meetings with anyone.

The PNP chief, however, assured that De Lima is allowed to make phone calls. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

Renault closes site, restructures factories in France in bid to slash costs

UNTV News   •   May 29, 2020

PART MUST ON-SCREEN COURTESY RENAULT.

Renault said on Friday (May 29) it was launching talks with unions to restructure several French car plants, as it confirmed plans to cut around 15,000 jobs worldwide and the closure of one France plant.

Faced with a slump in demand that has been exacerbated by the coronavirus crisis, Renault is aiming to find 2 billion euros ($2.22 billion) in savings over the next three years as it shrinks production and hones in on key car models.

Speaking at a news conference on Friday, Interim Chief Executive Clotilde Delbos said 4,600 jobs in France are in peril of being cut.

Renault Group Board of Directors Chair Jean-Dominique Senard hailed the cost-reduction plan to be both “defensive” and “offensive,” as he announced the closure of the Choisy-le-Roi factory, which manufactures motors, the sole plant to halt activity out of Renault’s 14 plant sites.

Senard said though that the Caudan site in Brittany, which was also threatened of closing will maintain operations, adding that Renault is working with the regional government to think about the future of the plant. (Reuters)

(Production: Ardee Napolitano)

DSWD calls on LGUs to speed up liquidation report for release of SAP second tranche

Robie de Guzman   •   May 27, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Wednesday urged local government units (LGU) to expedite the encoding and transmittal of their liquidation reports on the distribution of the first tranche of the government’s social amelioration project (SAP).

The DSWD said the liquidation reports from LGUs are necessary as this would be used for the validation of beneficiaries and checking of the disbursement for the release of SAP’s second tranche.

The SAP is part of the government’s efforts to assist families heavily affected by the community quarantines due to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

“The liquidation report is vital in the process of validation as it includes the report of the disbursement (containing the photos of the recipients, Social Amelioration Card Forms, and amount of cash received); Report of Checks Issued and Report of Disbursements certified by the LGU accountant and approved by the Local Chief Executive; and a copy of the Official Receipt for the refund/return of unutilized SAP funds,” the department said in a statement.

The DSWD explained that the validation and vetting process by its field offices can only be done when the data per LGU have been submitted in its entirety.

The department noted that the process will take approximately 15 days since validation on municipal, provincial, and regional levels takes place at the field office levels.

The DSWD Central Office will then conduct cross-matching with other government agencies’ lists of beneficiaries to avoid duplicity and ineligibility. The process will take another seven days in order to ensure that the recipients are indeed among the SAP’s target beneficiaries.

“The DSWD is exhausting all means to shorten the vetting and validation process, however, we need the full cooperation of the LGUs in order to effect this,” it said.

The department said that of the 1,479 LGUs that have completed the first tranche of SAP, only 659 had submitted liquidation reports as of Wednesday.

The DSWD earlier said it is still awaiting guidelines from the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases for the distribution of the second tranche.

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