VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Video on additional P500 ayuda for the poor MISLEADING


A June 4 YouTube video shared in a Facebook group claimed that the government will distribute this month an additional P500 in cash assistance earlier promised to the poorest families. 

Carrying the title “Dagdag Ayuda, ibibigay na (additional cash assistance to be given now)!,” the video stated: “Ang dagdag ayuda na 500 na ating binalita noong nakaraang buwan ay ibibigay na ngayong Hunyo. P1,500 ang matatanggap ng bawat pamilya mula Marso hanggang Mayo 2022. Ire-release na ito ngayong buwan sa mga pinakamahihirap na pamilya.”

(The additional P500 we reported last May is for distribution this June. Each family will receive P1,500 for the months of March to May 2022. It will be released this month to the poorest families.) 

This claim is misleading. In March, the Duterte administration promised to provide a monthly subsidy of P500 to the poorest families amid rising oil prices. However, there are no news reports confirming such distribution this June, contrary to the video’s claim. 

The video appeared following a June 1 press conference of incoming Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Erwin Tulfo, where he vowed to increase the pension of senior citizens from P500 to P1,500. 

Legislators, in plenary, recently approved Senate Bill No. 2506, which raises the social pension of the elderly to P1,000.

Acting Palace Spokesperson Martin Andanar said during a March 22 press briefing the order of President Rodrigo Duterte was to find ways to ensure beneficiaries under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) will all receive P500 instead of just the P200 previously promised.

The target distribution schedule of the P500 subsidy for low-income families was from March to May 2022. On March 24, DSWD Social Marketing Service Officer-in-Charge Irene Dumlao said they were still waiting for implementing guidelines and for the Department of Finance to download the funds. 

The executive department sourced funding from “unused cash balances,” House Ways and Means Chair Rep. Joey S. Salceda said in an April 7 statement. “The low-income household subsidy is definitely pushing through,” the Albay lawmaker assured. However, it was not reported if assistance was actually distributed between March and May.

YouTube channel Erwin D.C. posted the misleading video on June 4, with over 35,480 views. The netizen who owned the YouTube channel also shared the video on Facebook group 4p’s UPDATES and INQUIRIES, garnering 3,400 reactions, 14 comments, and 697 shares.

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