MANILA – Local government units (LGUs) only have until April 30 to completely distribute the emergency subsidy to 18 million families who are the intended beneficiaries under the government’s Social Amelioration Program (SAP), the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) announced on Monday.
DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año said LGUs must fast-track the payout or distribution of SAP financial assistance to intended beneficiaries so they will be able to make both ends meet during the Covid-19 crisis.
“Ibinaba na po ng Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) ang pondo para sa SAP emergency subsidy sa mga LGUs kaya wala na pong dahilan para hindi iyan makarating sa ating mga kababayang kapos-palad ngayong panahon ng pandemya (The DSWD has already released the funds for the SAP emergency subsidy to the LGUs so there is no reason for its non-distribution to our less fortunate kababayans amid this pandemic),” Año said in a news release.
Año issued the call as his office received reports that some low-income families have not yet received the SAP financial aid despite having filled up the necessary forms.
“May kasabihan tayo na ‘aanhin pa ang damo kung patay na ang kabayo.’ Kaya’t ang bilin natin sa lahat ng LGUs ay bilisan ang pagbibigay natin sa kanila ng ayudang nanggaling sa pamahalaan (We have a saying ‘What’s the use of the grass if the horse is already dead?’ Our reminder for LGUs is to fast-track the distribution of government aid to them),” he said.
The DILG reminded all LGUs that they signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the DSWD and they must abide by the terms of the MOA, otherwise they will be made accountable.
He said the government is now gearing for the distribution of the second wave of SAP financial assistance wherein focus will be given to those in the areas under extended ECQ and those who were “left out” during the first wave.
“Magsisimula na tayo ng pamimigay ng second wave ng SAP sa Mayo (We will start distributing the second wave of SAP in May). Let us ensure that all families left out who belong to the master list will also receive the emergency subsidy this time,” he said.
According to the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, each of the 18 million low-income families will be provided with PHP5,000 to PHP8,000 subsidy to provide for basic food, medicine, and toiletries which is computed based on the prevailing regional minimum wage rates and existing subsidy programs of the local and national governments.
One SAP program only for each family
Meanwhile, DILG spokesperson and Undersecretary for Plans, Public Affairs and Communication Jonathan E. Malaya emphasized that each of the qualified family shall avail of only one SAP program.
Malaya said that the qualified family can receive SAP financial assistance either through the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Agriculture, Department of Labor and Employment, and Department of Trade and Industry.
“Ang gobyerno ay may nakahandang ayuda para sa 18-milyong pamilya na nasa iba-ibang kategoriya. Kaya kung ang isang pamilya ay nakakuha na mula sa isang ahensiya, hindi na sila puwedeng tumanggap pa sa kabilang ahensiya except kung may butal (The government has an aid allotment for 18 million families belonging to various categories. This is why if the family already got aid from one agency, they cannot receive aid from another agency except when there is a remainder),” Malaya said.
Malaya also reminded the public to use the SAP financial subsidy that they received from the government wisely.
“Use the government subsidy wisely. The government will not hesitate to delist, take back aid, or punish those who gamble and engage in drinking sprees amid this time of crisis,” Malaya said. (PR)