Palace spokesman Harry Roque announced on Monday that an additional five million Filipino families would receive cash subsidies from the government’s social amelioration program (SAP), raising the total number of beneficiaries to 23 million.

The decision was based on a recommendation from the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF) recommendation, said Roque.

The spokesman asked for patience from those who have not yet received cash aids, saying the delays were not intended.

“‘Yung mga hindi nakatanggap at masasama ang loob, may pag-asa pa po dahil naiintindihan naman ng presidente na talagang napakarami ng nawalan ng hanapbuhay simula noong magkaroon ng enhanced community quarantine (ECQ). Kaunting tiyaga lang po, pasensya na po talaga, hindi po natin ginustong mangyari ito,” he said.

Roque also said support for families under general community quarantine might discontinue, as organizations and businesses have resumed operations in those areas.

He echoed President Rodrigo Duterte’s call to local government units to hasten the distribution of the SAP, as the situation was a matter of “life and death.”

The deadline for distribution of the first tranche of cash aid was set on May 7.

Under the P200-billion program, low-income families will receive P5,000 to P8,000 in cash aid for April and May. (