MANILA – Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año on Monday said the agency has already validated almost 4 million additional beneficiaries for the second tranche of the government’s Social Amelioration Program (SAP).
“Ang ulat sa akin ay four million names na po ang na-validate namin, I mean dito sa DILG (The report they gave me is that four million names have been validated by our agencies),” he said in a virtual presser in Malacañang.
Año said the names of beneficiaries have already been sent to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
He said the distribution of the second tranche will be faster since the government will now be using automated teller machines (ATM), debit cards, GCash, and PayMaya.
“Mas mabilis itong second tranche sapagkat magagamit na natin iyong iba’t-ibang e-payment at e-cash arrangement (The distribution of the second tranche will be faster since we will use e-payment and e-cash arrangements),” he said.
To prevent the supposed involvement of local officials in corrupt activities, Año said the military and police would help in the distribution of cash aid to poor households who do not want the automated disbursement of emergency subsidies.
Earlier, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the inclusion of an additional five million qualified recipients in the government’s cash aid.
SAP, the national government’s PHP200-billion program, grants monthly emergency subsidy ranging from PHP5,000 to PHP8,000 to poor families affected by the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) for April and May.
Around PHP100 billion have already been released for the implementation of the first phase of SAP.
Under Bayanihan to Heal as One Act also known as Republic Act 11469, some 18 million poor families would receive the first tranche of the cash aid.
For the second tranche of emergency subsidies, only the 12 million of 18 million families who are living in areas under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) will get the assistance.
An additional five million indigent families will join the 12 million under the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation program, one of the 13 social amelioration packages under SAP that grants outright cash of either PHP3,000 or PHP5,000 and PHP25,000 burial aid for those whose family member dies due to Covid-19.
Meanwhile, Año said some local government units are in the final stages of completing the first tranche of the cash subsidy to beneficiaries particularly those in remote areas.
“Ang ating unang tranche ay patapos na talaga at kaunting-kaunti na lang. Ang problema na lang natin talaga ay ‘yung malalayong lugar, ‘yung mga island. Pero within mainland, tapos na po tayo diyan (The first tranche is almost finished, just a little more left. The problem is those who live in remote areas. But within the mainland, we are finished),” he said.
A total of 472 out of the 1,634 LGUs across the country have submitted their liquidation reports for the first tranche to the DILG as of May 26, he added.
On May 14, the DSWD launched the web application “ReliefAgad” to speed up the distribution of emergency subsidies to low-income Filipino households affected by the health crisis.
ReliefAgad, a quick-relief system, would allow DSWD to quickly get the details of SAP beneficiaries and distribute the cash aid through an electronic payment using their smartphones. Azer Parrocha /PNA – northboundasia.com