MANILA – The Philippine National Police (PNP) has prepared security and safety measures for the distribution of the second tranche of the government’s social amelioration program (SAP), which began in the province of Benguet on Wednesday.

“I ordered police regional offices and concerned PNP units to give full support in terms of technical, administrative, and logistical assistance to facilitate the orderly distribution of cash aid under SAP,” PNP Chief, Gen. Archie Gamboa, said in a statement late Wednesday.

Gamboa said police personnel, including augmented police forces from regional and national headquarters, would be deployed to provide security assistance to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and local government units.

He has also directed the regional and provincial units of the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group to investigate thoroughly reported anomalies and irregularities in the cash subsidy distribution.

Meanwhile, regional police offices have coordinated with military units for clearing operations to ensure the safe passage of target cash subsidy beneficiaries from their respective residences to designated distribution centers.

“Select PNP personnel will be deployed in the distribution centers to assist in the actual disbursement and handling of funds, in cooperation with DSWD special disbursing officers,” Gamboa added.

Local police will also coordinate with barangay officials for the observance of minimum health safety protocols, such as physical distancing, and in providing other security requirements in the distribution centers, he said.

Earlier, President Rodrigo Duterte said he would tap the PNP and the Armed Forces of the Philippines to ensure that the payouts reach the rightful beneficiaries. This was in response to numerous complaints about irregularities.

The second tranche of the SAP will be distributed in the National Capital Region; Central Luzon except for Aurora province; Calabarzon; the provinces of Benguet, Pangasinan, Iloilo, Albay, and Cebu; and the cities of Bacolod, Zamboanga, and Davao. (PNA)