Mon. Jul 26th, 2021

MANILA – Village officials must ensure that those who are in dire need are prioritized in the distribution of cash aid from the government’s Social Amelioration Program (SAP), an official of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said Monday.

“We advise barangay officials to distribute SAP forms to the poorest of the poor and qualified beneficiaries under the (SAP) guidelines. These are from the informal sector, low income, ‘no work, no pay’, those who have no regular jobs. List them and give it to the DSWD so they will be included in the next tranche of aid distribution),” DILG Undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said during a Laging Handa briefing.

Families who weren’t included in the SAP, however, could get assistance from the LGUs through the ‘Bayanihan Grant’ under Republic Act 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.

Malaya also warned LGU officials to refrain from politicizing the aid distribution.

“Maliwanag na hindi pwedeng may pulitika diyan. Hindi pwede ang epal at walang politika dapat ang pamimigay ng SAP. Ang importante, maintindihan kung sino ang qualified (Politicking is clearly not allowed here. There must be no “epal” and politicking in distributing the SAP grant. What is important is we determine here who is qualified for the program),” he said.

The law imposes penalties for local government officials disobeying national government policies or directives during this period of national emergency.

Section 6 of RA 11469 imposes imprisonment of two months or a fine of not more than PHP1 million or both, at the discretion of the court, for violators.

He said the agency will not hesitate to file charges against erring local officials during this period.

“If there is evidence that SAP is given to a family who is not qualified or low income, or there was a duplication in the distribution and this was tolerated by the barangay or LGU (local government unit), the DILG will act on your complaints. Let us know about it so we can file cases for violation of the Bayanihan (To Heal as One) Act,” he added. (PNA)

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