Sat. Jul 24th, 2021

MANILA – The public can expect that the PHP100-billion budget earmarked for the implementation of the second phase of the social amelioration program (SAP) will be disbursed to the rightful beneficiaries and will not be pocketed by corrupt local officials, Malacañang said on Wednesday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque gave the assurance as he appealed anew to the public to bear with the delayed distribution of the second tranche of emergency subsidies under SAP.

“We’re also plugging the holes for corruption because when there’s no more intervention by local government units, then we reduce the possibility of corruption. So please, we ask for (the) people’s patience,” Roque said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel.

Social Welfare Secretary Rolando Bautista earlier announced that instead of local government units (LGUs), police and military personnel would take the lead in the distribution of the second tranche of the SAP aid.

About 17 million low-income households are expected to receive the second wave of cash aid from the national government.

Some 12 million of the 17 million beneficiaries also benefitted from the implementation of the first phase of SAP, while the remaining five million are new recipients.

Roque assured that the 17 million poor families would get the assistance in a “matter of seconds,” once the government starts the automated distribution of the financial aid.

“The DSWD is now making the transfer electronically. I know there’s a bit of a delay in doing this. But if they actually implemented electronically, it will just take a matter of minutes to distribute the next P100 billion,” he said. “It will happen, mostly electronically and when it does, it will be finished in a matter of seconds.”

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has admitted that the lack of manpower is causing delays in the release of the second wave of payouts for SAP beneficiaries.

The DSWD needs to validate the identities of the beneficiaries before it can begin the distribution of the second tranche of the emergency subsidies.

However, only 472 of 1,634 LGUs have submitted their liquidation reports to the DSWD, as of May 28.

Under the SAP, low-income families will receive cash aid ranging from PHP5,000 to PHP8,000, depending on their region’s minimum wage.

The DSWD on May 14 launched ReliefAgad, a quick-relief system that will allow the speedy distribution of financial assistance to SAP beneficiaries through an electronic payment using their smartphones.

ReliefAgad was launched due to complaints that erring local officials were purportedly involved in the unlawful distribution of the first tranche of emergency subsidies that should have been given to the 18 million intended SAP beneficiaries. (PNA)

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