MANILA– Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año on Thursday said the government plans to extend the distribution of financial assistance under the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) social amelioration program (SAP), following the appeal of mayors in Metro Manila.
“Pinag-aaralan namin ni Secretary Rolly Bautista yung situation ng Metro Manila at ibang mga lugar na may high-density population ng mga urban poor families. At nakita namin na valid naman ang kanilang reasons (Along with Social Welfare Secretary Rolly Bautista, we are considering the situation of the Metro Manila and other areas with a high-density population of urban poor families. And we saw that they actually have valid reasons)” he said in a press briefing in Malacañang.
Año said local officials in Metro Manila, provinces of Rizal, Laguna, Bulacan, Cavite as well as the cities of Cebu and Davao will be given a 7-day extension from the original April 30 deadline of distribution.
He said it would have been possible for the local governments to distribute the cash assistance on time, however, physical and social distancing may be violated.
“Kasi kaya naman idistribute yan (cash assistance) sa takdang oras pero maba-violate yung physical at social distancing, (so) balewala din yun kung nadefeat yung purpose na ‘wag mag spread yung virus (They can distribute the cash assistance within the deadline, but the physical and social distancing will be violated so the purpose to halt the spread of the virus might be defeated),” he said.
Meanwhile, Año reminded local officials to immediately prepare their liquidation on SAP’s first tranche of the financial assistance so that the second tranche of could be processed right away.
“For other LGUs has a problem, four days extension. They have to liquidate immediately para mai-prepare ang (to prepare) second tranche. Kahit nag-partial liquidation, para tuloy-tuloy, ‘pag once ma full liquidation sila may basis na ang ating DSWD para ilabas ang kanilang (even a partial liquidation will do, so it would be continuous, once the full liquidation is submitted the DSWD will now have the basis to pull out the) the second tranche,” he said.
The subsidies, he said, which range from PHP5,000 to PHP8,000, will be distributed in two tranches, between April and May.
The DSWD, he added, will be working on the validation of the cash subsidy liquidations.
Bautista said the DSWD has already distributed about PHP80.8 billion, to some 1,515 local government units nationwide.
A total of 98.8 percent of the budget under the SAP implementation, he said, has already been distributed to more than 5.7 million low-income earners and poor families in the country, through LGUs. (PNA)