The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is reiterating its previous advice and reminder to senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWDs) to refrain from going out and lining-up to claim their emergency subsidy under the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) of the government. Instead, they can send a representative to claim the cash aid if these are given through payouts.

This advisory is issued following the reports of cases of senior citizens who passed away while queuing to receive their cash subsidies. The DSWD extended sympathies to the bereaved families of these senior citizens and ensured that their families will be given appropriate assistance.

The DSWD also urges the local government units (LGUs) to have a standby ambulance with available paramedics in the site/s of payout. Compliance with the stringent social distancing measures in the identified distribution points is likewise enjoined to ensure the safety of the beneficiaries.

Moreover, the DSWD highly recommended that the LGUs do a door-to-door delivery of cash aid to families with senior citizens and persons with disability as family heads so they will no longer need to go out of their homes.

Based on protocols set by the Inter Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) under the Omnibus Guidelines on the Implementation of Community Quarantine in the Philippines, persons below 21 years old and those who are above 60, as well as pregnant women and those with immunodeficiency, comorbidities, and other health risks, should remain in their residences at all times, as they are at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19. The existing conditions of these sectors shall likewise be taken into consideration so the queuing protocols may not cause them inconvenience or difficulty.

DSWD called on the public to always heed the advice of their local authorities and to strictly observe the community quarantine protocols  on social distancing, wearing of face masks, and proper handwashing to protect themselves and their families from the virus. ###