MANILA, Philippines – Dragging the Department of Social Welfare and Development's (DSWD) cash aid program into the people's initiative is only being done for politicking, Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Elizaldy Co said on Tuesday. fair.

In a statement, Co accused Senator Imee Marcos of soiling the Ayuda para sa Kapos ang Kita Program (AKAP) – a one-time P5,000 cash subsidy program for workers earning less than P23,000 per month – by linking it to the work of the people. initiative.

Marcos, during the Senate hearing on the controversial people's initiative signature campaign, asked DSWD officials whether AKAP was used to entice Filipinos to join the signature campaign to amend the 1987 Constitution.

“Senator Imee Marcos is desecrating AKAP’s clear intentions to help our compatriots who have jobs but low incomes,” said Co, who heads the House appropriations committee.

(Senator Imee Marcos is tarnishing AKAP's clean intentions, which is to help Filipinos who have jobs but earn less.) sought Senator Marcos' opinion on Co's statements, but she had not yet responded at the time of posting.

According to Co, the House of Representatives remains committed to finding ways to help Filipinos – including the near-poor – cope with high commodity prices.

“Congress remains committed to increasing government support for Filipinos, especially those affected by the economic challenges posed by global inflation and ongoing geopolitical tensions,” he noted.

AKAP was first brought to light after the bicameral conference committee on the then-proposed 2024 national budget held its final meeting on December 13.

After the hearing, Co said it would include an allocation of P60 billion for AKAP, targeting about 12 million families.

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