VERA FILES FACT CHECK: P5k to P8k gov’t assistance is NOT for the ‘poor and rich’

A Facebook (FB) post is claiming that “all” Filipinos, whether rich or poor, are entitled to the government’s cash assistance of P5,000 to P8,000 during the COVID-19 crisis.

This is false.

The emergency subsidy amounting to P200 billion is intended for “18 million low-income families” who are at risk of not earning a living during the pandemic, according to the Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) No. 1 of seven national agencies tasked to carry out the government’s social amelioration program (SAP).

According to the JMC, a minimum of P5,000 to a maximum of P8,000 per month for two months⁠—depending on prevailing regional minimum wage rates⁠—will be distributed to qualified households, as mandated by Republic Act 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.

The inaccurate post was published by a netizen on April 17 but is making the rounds on social media again. It misleadingly carries a photo of President Rodrigo Duterte superimposed with text that reads: “Lahat ba kayo ay nakatanggap ng 5k-8k (Did all of you receive 5k to 8k)?” and “Mayaman ka man o mahirap kasali ka sa listahan (Whether you are rich or poor, you’re included in the list).” Those were not his words and the photo was taken at a ceremony in Balangiga, Eastern Samar in September 2017.

The “list” the post refers to is the list of qualified SAP beneficiaries vetted by village heads. Included are recipients of the national government’s cash transfer program, Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino, and families with informal economy workers, among others.

The false post, which has been shared over 2,400 times, resurfaced as the first tranche of aid distribution ended May 10. A total of 1,265 local government units met the deadline, with a payout rate of 90.86 percent. The second tranche of distribution will begin on or before May 20 for local government units that have submitted complete liquidation reports of the first phase.

(Editor’s Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)