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DSWD:  AKAP to aid minimum wage earners

THE DEPARTMENT of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) XI launched a new cash assistance program dubbed Ayuda sa Kapos ang Kita Program (AKAP) to aid minimum wage earners.  

Anne Jickain, DSWD XI Crisis Intervention Unit head, said AKAP is financial assistance to address inflation and protect the purchasing power of Filipino families, especially the vulnerable sector.

“We have financial assistance, but it also depends on the type of assistance na i-avail nila, everything will redound on the social worker’s assessment of the client’s needs,”  Jickain said during Kapehan sa PIA on Friday.

Minimum wage earners earn a daily rate as mandated by the Regional Tripartite Wage and Productivity Board (RTPWB) of the Department of Labor and Employment.

RTPWB approved a P38 daily minimum salary adjustment for the Davao Region, which will be rolled out in two tranches, P19 per day will take effect on March 6 and the additional P19 will take effect on September 1. 

With the adjustment, the minimum wage for non-agriculture sectors such as industrial, commercial, retail/ service will be P462 from the present P443. Meanwhile, agricultural sector workers will receive P457 daily from the current P438.

On Sept. 1, it pushes the minimum wages to P481 and P476 for non-agriculture and agricultural sectors, respectively.

The second tranche of P19 daily will take effect on Sept. 1 and increase the minimum wages to P481 and P476 for non-agriculture and agricultural sectors, respectively.

Labor group Kilusang Mayo Uno earlier criticized the P38 wage adjustment as it will not feed a family of five.

Hindi sapat ang P38 sa mga pangangailangan, kagaya ng bayarin ng tubig, kuryente, pananamit, pambayad sa bahay at dobleng problema sa pasahe na nag-iincrease rin (P38 is not enough to sustain the needs like water, electricity, clothing, rent, and the transportation fare that also increased),” Renyboy Baliguat, KMU-SMR campaign officer told TIMES in a phone interview on Tuesday, Feb. 20.

Baliguat said the ideal living wage of a family of five should be P1,100 as per the recommendation of the National Economic Development and Authority. 

Jickain said AKAP is an augmentation support to funds for the low-income earner needs from food, medical, and funerals.

For medical assistance such as treatment, procedure, and hospitalization expenses, among others, may avail of an outright cash or a guarantee letter from DSWD.

For hospital bills, they may avail P1,000 to P150,000 once every admission/discharge, except for chronic diseases and illnesses- per hospitalization/admission. The same rate for medicine/ laboratory procedures or special treatment for but not limited to dialysis, chemotherapy, and pre-operation, however, it can be availed once every three months.

For funeral assistance, one may avail P5,000- P50,000, each for funeral expenses, and transfer of cadaver, and P10,000 for casualties during disaster/calamity per beneficiary/ incident of death. One may avail of two services at the same time.

The food subsidy for individuals/ families reaches up to P2,000- P10,000, once every three months. 

Meanwhile, a cash relief assistance of P2,000-P10,000 can be availed by beneficiaries for reasons other than food, medical, and funeral. This is upon the assessment of the social worker if it appears to be directly affected by effects of inflation such as difficulty in paying house rentals, electricity, and water.

To qualify as a minimum wage earner and avail of the assistance, applicants may submit as additional supporting documents: a contract of employment duly signed by parties, certificate of employment, Income Tax Return, and other documents stating the client’s income does not exceed the minimum wage, issued within 3 months.

However, beneficiaries for Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Programs (4PS) are ineligible for AKAP. 

Following the launch on May 18, DSWD XI has yet to receive on-site implementation guidelines from the central office. 



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