Sat. Sep 18th, 2021

MANILA – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Tuesday hailed 828 local government units (LGUs) nationwide that have completed the payout of the first tranche of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) financial assistance to poor families in their localities and have met the deadline set by the DILG for SAP distribution.

“Good job sa ating mga LGUs na naipamahagi na sa mga mahihirap na pamilya ang SAP cash subsidy. Pinapatunayan lamang nito ang inyong pagmamalasakit sa inyong mga (to our LGUs that have distributed the SAP cash subsidy to poor families. This only proves your compassion to your) constituents,” DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said in a news release.

Año urged the 828 LGUs to liquidate immediately.

“Ang (The) next challenge sa inyo ay makapag-liquidate kaagad (for you is to immediately liquidate) and account for each centavo of this taxpayer’s money to the DSWD,” he said.

Of the 828 LGUs who beat the deadline on Monday, 56 are in the Cordillera Administrative Region, 38 in Ilocos Region, 31 in Cagayan Valley; 36 in Central Luzon, 63 in Calabarzon, 62 in Mimaropa, 70 in the Bicol region, 114 in Western Visayas, 52 in Central Visayas, 95 in Eastern Visayas, 71 in Zamboanga Peninsula; 17 in Northern Mindanao; 26 in Davao region; 32 in Soccsksargen; and 65 in Caraga.

For LGUs that have not yet completed the payout, Año said they have to work double-time for the benefit of their poor constituents who are severely affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

“One moment of delay or inaction means additional hours of suffering of poor families in your localities. Let us not keep them waiting and let us show them that the government truly cares for them,” he said.

Provincial LGUs were given a four-day extension or until May 4 for the SAP distribution.

Metro Manila LGUs and the provinces of Cavite, Rizal, Laguna, Bulacan, and Cebu and Davao City, which have high-density population, were given until May 7 to complete the payout. The deadline earlier set by the DSWD was April 30.

The DILG chief also urged SAP beneficiaries to use the cash subsidy that they received wisely to enable them to last the ECQ.

“Nawa’y gamitin ninyo ng tama at wasto para sa mga pangangailangan ninyo kagaya ng bigas, ulam at iba pa. Hindi po yung para sa luho at hindi puwede sa pangsugal at pambili ng alak (May you use the aid wisely especially in buying basic goods such as rice, food items and others. This is not for luxury, for gambling or for drinking of liquor),” Año said.

He said SAP beneficiaries who are also engaged in gambling and drinking and who use the financial aid other than the intended purpose will be delisted, required to return the full amount or sanctioned depending on the severity of their offense.

SAP payout across PH 75-percent completed

Meanwhile, DILG spokesperson Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said as of 9 p.m. Monday, the status of the SAP payout for the whole country is at 75 percent, with Caraga, Davao Region, Mimaropa and Bicol leading the pack of regions with the highest percentage of payouts.

“Konting padyak na lang at matatapos na natin lahat ito. Sa ating mga LGUs, paspasan na natin ang kilos para makarating na ang ayuda sa ating mga kababayan (A few more efforts and we will complete this) To our LGUs, let’s work quickly so that aid will reach our fellow kababayans),” he said.

Caraga’s regional payout rate as of the deadline yesterday is at 99.01 percent, Davao region at 95.56 percent, Mimaropa at 95.21 percent, and Bicol at 94.34 percent.

Closely following the lead are Western Visayas at 88.42 percent, Zamboanga Peninsula is at 84 percent, Ilocos Region has 80.11 percent payout rate, Central Luzon is at 79.27 percent, Cagayan Valley is at 73.36 percent, and Davao Region is at 77.56 percent.

Meanwhile, Calabarzon has 61.99 percent payout rate and Northern Mindanao is at 67 percent.

“We understand that the LGUs are faced with various challenges unique to your areas amidst the Covid-19 crisis but we trust that you will be able to overcome them and carry out measures to fast track the payout to your constituents without violating the ECQ protocols of physical distancing,” he said.

He also called on the city/municipal mayors and punong barangays to ensure the completion of SAP financial subsidy to their respective areas of jurisdictions without politicking and corruption to avoid legal consequences later on.

“Sabi nga po ni Secretary Año, ngayon ay panahon ng pagtutulungan, hindi ng pamumulitika. Mag-focus na lang po tayo sa kung paano makatutulong sa ating mga kababayan (As what Secretary Año have said, this is time for camaraderie, not politicking. Let’s just focus on how to help our kababayans),” he said. (ia/DILG)

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