By Charissa Luci-Atienza
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has started downloading the Social Amelioration Cards(SAC) forms to the local government units (LGUs).
DSWD Spokesperson Irene Dumlao maintained that they will take the cue from the LGUs who are tasked to prepare and endorse the list of the target beneficiaries with the complete documentary requirements to the concerned DSWD Field Office for verification.
“DSWD started to download the Social Amelioration Card to LGUs. LGUs will distribute the forms to the target beneficiaries. Forms will be submitted to the DSWD FO (Field Office),” she told reporters in a Viber message when asked about the timeline of the DSWD on the distribution of the government’s social amelioration package to the 18 million low-income households.
She noted that the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) issued a memorandum circular directing all LGUs to identify all their target beneficaries and submit a master list “not later than April 3.”
The Memorandum Circular No. 2020-065 was issued on March 30, 2020 to “all provincial governors, municipal and city mayors, heads of local sanggunians, punong barangays, DILG Regional Directors, BARMM (Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao) Minister of local government, and all others concerned.”
Dumlao earlier said that the DSWD will start validating this week the list of target beneficiaries for the government’s P5,000 to P8,000 Emergency Subsidy Program (ESP).
“The profiling of the 18 million target beneficiaries will be made this week. The validation of the LGUs’ list of beneficiaries will also start,” she told the Manila Bulletin in a Viber message on Sunday night.
“April and May ang coverage ng social protection programs (April and May will be the coverage of the social protection programs) so once LGUs submit the list, we proceed,” Dumlao said.
On Tuesday, March 31, the DSWD issued a guide on how the 18 million low-income households will avail the government’s social amelioration package.
The issuance of the four-step guide was made after President Duterte announced on Monday night during his televised speech that his government is launching the “largest and widest” social protection program that would benefit the low-income households and those belonging to the informal sector.
“Ang lokal na pamahalaan ay mamahagi ng Social Amelioration Card (SAC) forms sa kanilang nasasakupan. Gagawin ito sa pamamagitan ng pagbibigay sa bawat kabahayan o “house to house basis,” the DSWD said in its Facebook post.
(The local government units (LGUs) will distribute Social Amelioration Card (SAC) forms in their respective areas. This will be done in a “house to house basis”.)
Dumlao said they are in close coordination with the LGUs for the immediate roll-out of the Emergency Subsidy Program (ESP).
“We have started our coordination with LGUs already,” she told the DSWD reporters in a Viber message.
The DSWD advised the head of the household to fill up the one-page SAC form with the required information, including personal information, monthly income, nature of work, and workplace, among others.
The target beneficiary will be asked if he or she is a beneficiary of Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT) or the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).
“Siguraduhin na kumpleto ang impormasyon na iniligay sa form. Isumite ang form sa kinatawan ng lokal na pamahalaan na babalik sa inyong bahay,” the DSWD said.
(Make sure that all complete information will be supplied in the form. Submit the form to the representative of the local government who will return to your house.)
The DSWD noted that the SAC form will serve as a “validation tool” that will determine who should qualify to receive the cash subsidy of P5,000 to P8,000 as provided under Republic Act No. 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act.
It will also serve as a monitoring tool to avoid duplication of delivery of services,” it added.
“Ang lahat po ay nilalayon naming makatanggap ng Social Amelioration Program subalit ang pamamahagi po ay naayon sa lebel ng pangangailangan. Kung kaya’t ang inyo pong kooperasyon, pagbibigayan at pang-unawa ay higit na kinakailangan,” it said.
(We wish that all will benefit from the Social Amelioration Program, however, the distribution will depend on the level of needs. That’s why we ask for your cooperation, consideration, and understanding.)
The DSWD said the social amelioration package will be extended by the Department and other agencies to the low-income households through the LGUs.
Signed by President Duterte last week, RA 11469 mandates that each low-income household shall receive an emergency subsidy ranging from P5,000 to P8,000 per month for two months, “in cash or in kind” from various national government agencies. President Duterte earlier said P200 billion has been allocated for such purpose.
The Emergency Subsidy Program includes the DSWD’s provision of food and non-food items (FNFI) and financial assistance through the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) as well as those provided by other agencies, provided that the benefits received by each household does not exceed the prescribed threshold per region,” the DSWD said in a statement issued on Sunday, March 29.
The amount to be received by the vulnerable sectors during this time of COVID-19 pandemic is based on the maximum subsidy per region determined from the region’s minimum wage levels.
Low-income households in the National Capital Region (NCR) will receive the maximum subsidy of P8, 000 under the Duterte government’s ESP, while those poor families in at least seven regions, will receive the minimum subsidy of P5,000.
According to the ESP schedule provided by Albay 2nd district Rep. Joey Salceda, chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means, the low-income households in the NCR will be given P8,000 emergency subsidy.
A cash subsidy amounting to P6,500 will be extended to two regions–Region III (Central Luzon) and Region IV-A (Calabarzon).
While, low-income households in Region VI (Western Visayas) , VII (Central Visayas), X (Northern Mindanao) , and XI (Davao) will get P6,000 emergency subsidy from the government.
Expected to receive P5,500 cash subsidy are poor households in three regions–Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Region I (Ilocos) and Region II (Cagayan Valley).
Based on the ESP schedule, the minimum subsidy of P5,000 will be given to seven regions–Region IV-B (Mimaropa), Region V (Bicol). Region VIII (Eastern Visayas), IX (Zamboanga Peninsula) , XII (Soccksargen), Caraga, and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
The DSWD said the existing list of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) and the Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT) Program will be used to validate the list submitted by LGUs.
It reassured the beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) that they will also be supported with a top-up on their grants and rice subsidy to reach the maximum benefit per region.
“4Ps beneficiaries are most vulnerable to economic, social and physical shocks such as this health crisis, thus, the need to augment their existing grants to help them with their daily needs,” it said.
As of January 31, 2020, there are more than 4.2 million “active” 4Ps beneficiaries.
The DSWD said it will also provide Livelihood Assistance Grants (LAG) to a beneficiary-family of its Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP), provided that at least one family member works in the informal sector and is displaced following the government’s imposition of the community quarantine.
“The family must be in the master list endorsed by the LGU to the DSWD Field Office (FO) and must still undergo assessment by a DSWD staff,” it said.
“The LAG will be given after the quarantine period has been lifted to help the families start anew,” it added.
The social amelioration measures are contained in the Joint Memorandum Circular forged by DSWD, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG),
Department of Finance (DOF), and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
Last week, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles announced that the Inter-Agency Task Force has approved the social amelioration package benefitting the 18 million low-income households.
“The social amelioration measures will help mitigate the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 health crisis and the enhanced community quarantine to the target beneficiaries, particularly the senior citizens, persons with disability, pregnant and lactating mothers, solo parents, overseas Filipinos in distress, indigent Indigenous Peoples, homeless citizens, and the informal economy workers,” the DSWD said.