MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Wednesday advised senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWDs) that they could send representatives to claim their emergency subsidies under the Social Amelioration Program (SAP).
The DSWD issued the advisory due to reports of senior citizens who passed away died while queuing up to receive their cash subsidies.
“The DSWD extended sympathies to the bereaved families of these senior citizens and ensured that their families will be given appropriate assistance,” the DSWD said in a statement.
The department also urged local government units (LGUs) to have a standby ambulance with available paramedics in the areas where they conduct their payout.
“Compliance with the stringent social distancing measures in the identified distribution points is likewise enjoined to ensure the safety of the beneficiaries,” it added.
Moreover, the DSWD highly recommended that the LGUs conduct door-to-door delivery of cash aid to families with senior citizens and persons with disability so they would no longer need to go out of their homes.
Based on the quarantine protocols set by the government to prevent the further spread of COVID-19, persons below 21 years old and those who are above 60, as well as pregnant women and those with immunodeficiency, comorbidities, and other health risks, should remain in their houses at all times, as they are at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19.
The novel coronavirus causes mild symptoms such as fever and cough for most people but experts have warned that older adults with preexisting health conditions were more vulnerable to the coronavirus, particularly those aged over 60-years-old.
The government has set aside about P200 billion for two-month cash subsidies for 18 million low-income households to help tide them over while as the coronavirus lockdown keeps them away from their jobs.
The beneficiaries are also set to receive subsidies of P5,000 to P8,000 per household monthly for two months.