AID FOR THE NEEDY. Social Welfare Secretary Rolando Bautista personally delivers aid to a beneficiary in La Trinidad, Benguet on Friday (July 31, 2020). The DSWD said it eyes to complete the distribution of the government’s emergency subsidies for poor families by August 15. (Photo courtesy of DSWD CAR)

MANILA – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has so far provided emergency subsidies under the government’s social amelioration program to 8,405,298 low-income families.

Based on the latest data as of July 30 released on Friday, the DSWD said these families received a total of PHP55.1 billion.

DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista earlier announced they are eyeing to complete the distribution of the second wave of emergency subsidy to 17 million beneficiaries including the “waitlisted” recipients by July 31.

He, however, added that the aid distribution might take until August 15 for beneficiaries residing in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDAs), conflict-affected areas, and those areas where financial service providers (FSPs) do not have payout partners.

Irene Dumlao, DSWD spokesperson, told reporters in a Viber message that “most of the qualified beneficiaries” are located in these areas.

On June 30, DSWD signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) and six financial service providers recommended by the Bangko Sentral Pilipinas (BSP) – GCash, RCBC, Robinsons Bank, PayMaya, Starpay, and Unionbank – for digital payment.

This paved the way for safer and faster transactions compared to the distribution of the first batch of SAP.

Bautista previously appealed to the public to continuously have faith in the government amid the delayed distribution.

The areas covered by the distribution of SAP 2 are Benguet; Pangasinan; Region III (except Aurora Province); National Capital Region (NCR); Region IV-A (Calabarzon); Albay Province; Iloilo; Bacolod City; Cebu Province; Zamboanga City; and Davao City. (PNA)