P296 billion needed monthly vs coronavirus, says think tank

MANILA, Philippines– The Philippine government would need to spend over P296 billion monthly to provide emergency social protection for poor and low-income families during the coronavirus lockdown, said think tank Ibon Foundation.

Here is Ibon Foundation's proposed breakdown:

P100 billion - Unconditional cash transfers for the poorest 10 million families. Each family should get P10,000.

P97 billion - Financial assistance for 9.7 million farmers and fisherfolk. Each of them should get P10,000 to keep producing goods.

P53.5 billion - Wage subsidies for 10.7 million workers in formal establishments. Each worker should get P5,000.

P26 billion - Financial assistance for 5.2 million informal earners. Each person should get P5,000.

P15 billion - Emergency relief packages for the poorest 5 million families. The package, which includes food and medicine, would be worth P3,000 per family.

P900 million - Emergency support for 1.8 million members of the Social Security System and Government Service Insurance System. Each pensioner can get P500.

President Rodrigo Duterte was granted special powers by Congress to reallocate billions of pesos to combat the coronavirus and cushion its economic impact.

The government has yet to release a detailed breakdown of expenses, noting only that it plans to give poor families around P5,000 to P8,000 as cash assistance. – Rappler.com

Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.

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