The term “ayuda” became popular at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic after Congress enacted the Bayanihan To Recover as One emergency legislation. Ayuda is a Spanish word derived from the Portuguese ajudar which means “to help; to aid.” Some 18 million low-income households were entitled to direct cash aid ranging from ₱5,000 to ₱8,000 a month in April and May 2020. Some ₱200 billion was set aside for this emergency subsidy program (ESP).
Using a 2015 list as main reference, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) encountered many difficulties in implementing the program. Politicking among government officials also muddled the situation. Through 2021, the national and local governments implemented various subsidy programs to alleviate the harsh impact of quarantine and lockdowns that rende