4Ps beneficiary says Php8k is only enough for 1 week, earns mixed reactions

MANILA, Philippines – A 4Ps beneficiary said that the Php8,000 aid by the government is not enough because it’s just good for about 1 week. This earned mixed reactions from netizens.

Amid the financial difficulties that people are facing these days due to COVID-19, the government is doing its best to ease the burden particularly for the ‘poorest of the poor’. Under the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) of the “Bayanihan to Heal as One Act”, low-income families and those with members belonging to the vulnerable sector (such as senior citizens and PWDs) are given priority to receive financial aid of Php5,000 to Php8,000 per month. This is good for 2 months.

Already identified to be among the country’s low-income families, 4Ps beneficiaries are automatically included under the SAP. They were also among the first to receive the cash assistance.

But one 4Ps beneficiary, identified as Alma Aquino, has earned the ire of netizens for saying that Php8,000 is just good for 1 week.

4Ps beneficiary says Php8k is only enough for 1 week
Photo credit: Tina Panganiban Perez

“4Ps beneficiary Alma Aquino checks her food inventory. There are 8 people in Alma’s household. She says the P8,000 financial aid given by govt for those severely affected by the enhanced community quarantine is only enough for their needs for one week,” Tina Panganiban Perez (@tinapperez) tweeted.

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The Philippine government is providing to the poorest of the poor in the country, but netizens just could not believe that the family spends Php8,000 in a week—because that would mean they earn around Php32,000 a month.

If they earn that much, aren’t they already included in the ‘middle class’? Why would someone from the middle class be a 4Ps beneficiary? A lot of netizens are asking these questions.

Many think that Aling Alma and her family must have already improved their income source as their lifestyle appears better and more expensive that most low-income families. Others said that she probably earns a lot of money now; thus, she should be deleted from the list of 4Ps beneficiaries!

Watch it here:

Sample computation

So many people have lost their jobs or are temporarily out of income due to the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) that the president ordered for 1 month. But with the extension announced just recently, many workers are worried that they won’t be able to feed their families.

While the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) was tasked to provide Php5,000 to displaced workers, many did not qualify or are still waiting for the money. Moreover, a lot of people in the middle class have also lost their income but are not qualified for aid from the government because they are not classified as poor.

Thus, many say it is understandable that people got angry at Aling Alma’s statement that the aid isn’t enough.

4Ps beneficiary says Php8k is only enough for 1 week
Photo credit: Tina Panganiban Perez / GMA News

But others pointed out that Aling Alma belongs to a family of 8. So, Php8,000 a week means they get a budget of Php1,143 per day. While that amount still looks big, take note that people eat three meals a day. So, Aling Alma’s family would have Php381 to spend per meal from that amelioration money.

Since there are 8 of them in the family, each person is entitled to about Php48 per meal. Still not bad, huh? But that’s using calculation from Php8,000 a week. Take note, also, that the family would also have other needs, including water, shelter, soap and shampoo, etc. Even if they probably don’t have electricity and other needs, the Php8,000 appears to be ‘not enough’ now.

How about if Php8,000 is spread out across 1 month? Keeping the number of days fixed at 30, the family only has Php267 to spend per day. They have to share Php89 per meal or about Php11 per person per meal. What can you eat with Php11 for a full meal? And you have to add the other basic necessities as well!

And while it’s not the government’s fault that there are so many people in her family, netizens have come to realize that Aling Alma’s statement appears to be correct after all…

— Joy Adalia, The Summit Express

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