Malacañang on Saturday ordered the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to increase the recipients of the government’s cash aid program by five million households.

Families from areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) may also be eligible for the cash aid, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said in a memorandum dated May 22.

Malacañang on May 19 said President Rodrigo Duterte was pushing for families from GCQ areas to receive aid, in addition to those under the more stringent enhanced community quarantine, but the government had insufficient funds.

“While it Is only natural that most beneficiaries would come from those still living in enhanced community quarantine areas, as stricter kinds of quarantine deprive more people of means of support, household beneficiaries most affected by the continuing restrictions in the operation of certain industries and sectors in areas under a general community quarantine may still be considered for the second tranche,” the Palace memorandum stated.

Five million households will be added to the 12 million eligible for the second tranche of the social amelioration package, under the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

The IATF was also told to retain the original numbers and budget for the first tranche of the government’s social amelioration program (SAP), which pays out P5,000 to P8,000 per month for two months. John Ezekiel J. Hirro