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13 million beneficiaries to get second SAP tranche

PhilStar Global logo PhilStar Global 5/14/2020 Christina Mendez
a person sitting at a table using a laptop: 13 million beneficiaries to get second SAP tranche © Walter Bollozos, file 13 million beneficiaries to get second SAP tranche

MANILA, Philippines — At least 13 million beneficiaries from areas living in the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) areas will be covered under the second tranche of the Social Amelioration Program, presidential spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said yesterday.

But because of the now limited budget, he added that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) has decided to exclude impoverished individuals within the general community quarantine (GCQ) areas from SAP.

He justified the move by saying people can already go back to work in the GCQ areas and that Congress only approved a P205-billion fund for the fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

And for as long as there are funds, Roque said the distribution will continue. The government is also tapping digital transfer and other forms of technology to ensure faster distribution. Electronic money transfers like PayMaya will also be used for the distribution.

The Office of the Executive Secretary is yet to issue the guidelines for the second tranche, “upon approval of President Duterte.” 

Marikina Rep. Bayani Fernando suggested that the government use instead the barangay units through the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) “for a more expeditious and orderly implementation of SAP.”

From the P205 billion allocated by Congress for SAP under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, Roque said the minimum coverage was pegged at 18 million beneficiaries but President Duterte has ordered that the cash assistance be extended to an additional five million families.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development said the additional slots for five million families will go to the so-called “left out families” that did not receive the cash aid the first time.

These families will be taken from the families who were enlisted after their conduct of an appeal system, where the local government units (LGUs) submitted a list of “left-outs” or those qualified families that were not included in the initial list of target beneficiaries for the first tranche of SAP in their localities. 

Meanwhile, the DILG has summoned at least 43 local chief executives for their poor performance – lower than 79 percent – in the distribution of the first tranche of SAP.

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said the mayors have been issued show cause orders to explain their low payout rate despite two deadline extensions. 

The national payout rate for the emergency cash subsidy reached 97 percent at midnight of May 10, its deadline.

The National Bureau of Investigation also filed graft and corruption charges against three barangay officials in Hagonoy, Bulacan for alleged anomalies in the SAP distribution. Delon Porcalla, Rainier Allan Ronda, Romina Cabrera, Rey Galupo

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