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LGUs directed to identify families left out of SAP

PhilStar Global logo PhilStar Global 5/19/2020 Emmanuel Tupas
a man wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera: LGUs directed to identify families left out of SAP © Boy Santos/File LGUs directed to identify families left out of SAP

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has given local government units (LGUs) until tomorrow to identify the households left out in the distribution of cash assistance under the social amelioration program (SAP) of the national government for families reeling most from the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

“The left-out or waitlisted households are low-income families who are not recipients of any conditional cash transfer and who were not included in the initial 18 million households who benefited in the first tranche of SAP financial assistance,” Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said in a statement. The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has estimated their number to be around five million.

“These left-out households, around five million of them, will be assisted,” he said.

Año clarified that the list “shall in no way be construed as the final list of beneficiaries which shall still be subject to further validation.” He warned that barangay officials caught stealing from the funds would face severe punishment.

The government has filed appropriate charges against at least 25 barangay officials for alleged corruption relating to the distribution of SAP in their areas, presidential spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said yesterday.

A total of 318 complaints were received by relevant agencies nationwide, Roque said, adding that more erring officials will be slapped with proper charges in relation to violation of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act in addition to the first batch.

Roque did not name the barangay officials now facing complaints initiated by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group.

According to Roque, four more cases will be filed in the next days while 110 are under case buildup.

DSWD data showed that 400 LGUs have not completed the distribution of cash subsidy.

As of last month, 1,232 of 1,632 LGUs have completed payouts to identified beneficiaries.

As of May 18, DSWD data showed that LGUs nationwide have disbursed over P79.2 billion among 13,062,681 households.

Only 365 have so far submitted liquidation reports, according to DSWD spokesperson Irene Dumlao.

She earlier reminded LGUs to submit their liquidation reports and list of beneficiaries to help in post payout validation, which is needed prior to the distribution of cash aid for May.

The DSWD said it has distributed over P17.9 billion worth of subsidy to over 4.1 million beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).

Over 100,000 4Ps beneficiaries with no cash cards have yet to receive their cash aid for last month, the report submitted by the President to Congress showed.

The DSWD said it is still waiting for the written directive from Malacañang before it begins distribution of cash aid for this month.

Cash aid for GCQ areas

Meanwhile, Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said the second installment of cash subsidy under SAP should still be given to beneficiaries in areas under less-strict general community quarantine (GCQ).

He was clarifying a provision in the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act granting P200 billion in cash aid to families most affected by the impact of the lockdown set in place to check the spread of COVID-19.

“Records do not say that once the level of quarantine is downgraded, we abort the grant of scheduled aid,” Recto said.

Based on record, half of the funds for the assistance – about P100 billion – is still with DSWD, Recto said. Cecille Suerte Felipe, Janvic Mateo, Christina Mendez

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