MANILA – The government has yet to distribute the second tranche of emergency subsidies under the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) as it is still validating the identities of additional 5 million poor families who will benefit from the program, Malacañang said on Thursday.
“Hindi pa po sila nagsisimula. ‘Yung 5 million po, vine-verify pa nila ‘yung mga pangalan (The release [of the second wave of payouts] has not yet started. The additional 5 million [families] are still being verified),” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a virtual presser aired on state-run PTV-4.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the lead agency tasked to oversee the SAP implementation, said the inter-agency technical working group will meet this week to discuss the key details concerning the release of the second wave of cash aid.
The meeting was scheduled after Malacañang issued a memorandum on May 22, directing the inclusion of 5 million more households as beneficiaries of the second tranche of emergency subsidies, apart from the 12 million existing SAP recipients.
Roque said the Palace expects the speedy validation process, since the DSWD already pushed for the automated disbursement of the second wave of financial aid.
“Inaasahan po natin na mas mabilis iyan kasi nga (We expect that the validation will be done faster because) they’re using technology to distribute the second tranche,” he said.
The PHP200-billion SAP seeks the granting of monthly emergency cash subsidy ranging from PHP5,000 to PHP8,000 to low-income households for the months of April and May.
Around 18 million indigent families benefitted from the implementation of the first phase of SAP.
However, only the 12 million of 18 million families who are residing in areas under enhanced community quarantine will receive the second tranche of cash assistance.
The total number of beneficiaries of the second wave of payouts is 17 million since an additional 5 million poor households will join the 12 million families.
Roque ensured that the government would not allow any delays in the release of the second tranche of emergency subsidies.
He said the DSWD may seek the military’s help in case some low-income families do not want the electronic cash transfers.
“Bagama’t nasabi na po ni [DSWD] Secretary [Rolando] Bautista na electronic, makikipag-ugnayan pa rin sa local government (While DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista already announced the electronic distribution of cash aid, we will still coordinate with the local governments) but they will also use the Armed Forces of the Philippines,” he said.
Malacañang on Tuesday said the largest bulk of the PHP100-billion budget for the second tranche of emergency subsidies will be electronically distributed to poor households.
ReliefAgad, a quick-relief system launched by the DSWD on May 14, would allow the speedy distribution of cash aid to SAP beneficiaries through an electronic payment using their smartphones.
The launch came following mounting complaints against local officials who were supposedly involved in the unlawful distribution of the first tranche of emergency subsidies that should have been given to the intended SAP beneficiaries. (PNA)