MANILA – Malacañang on Wednesday expressed optimism that 60 percent of the 17 million low-income households would receive the second tranche of emergency subsidies under the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) by next week.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made the statement, adding that he looked forward to the faster distribution of the national government’s cash aid for indigent families through the web application, “ReliefAgad”.

“Realistically, we’re hoping that at least a majority of the PHP105 billion would already have been disbursed electronically,” Roque said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel. “So we’re hoping that at least 60 percent would be done by next week.”

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the lead agency tasked to implement the SAP, is expected to begin the cashless distribution of financial assistance to 17 million poor families starting next week.

ReliefAgad, a quick-relief system launched by DSWD on May 14, authorizes the release of the second wave of payouts through electronic payment.

Roque said the government is more focused on implementing the automated distribution of the second tranche of emergency subsidies.

“The primary mode of distribution will be electronic this time. And since it’s electronic, to those who will be covered, they (DSWD personnel) can distribute [the cash aid] in two days,” he said.

SAP beneficiaries are encouraged to register to the ReliefAgad application by visiting http://www.reliefagad.ph to expedite the process of gathering their information for validation and them to avail of a safer and more convenient cashless disbursement.

Using a smartphone, SAP recipients have to scan the barcode at the lower right-hand corner of the social amelioration card form to proceed with the registration.

SAP beneficiaries need to wait for DSWD’s confirmation and announcement for the second wave of payouts as the agency will have to validate first their registrations.

Roque reiterated that the military would help DSWD in the manual distribution of cash aid.

“The balance for those who have no access to electronic payments will still be done manually. But this time, it will be disbursed with the assistance of the Armed Forces of the Philippines,” he said.

Amid the country’s fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), around 17 million low-income households can avail of the second tranche of cash aid from the national government.

Some 12 million of the 17 million SAP recipients also received the first tranche of emergency subsidies, while the remaining 5 million are new beneficiaries.

Under the SAP, poor families will receive emergency subsidies ranging from PHP5,000 to PHP8,000 to help them sustain their needs amid the pandemic. (PNA)