By Charissa Luci-Atienza
The distribution of emergency subsidies will remain uninterrupted this Holy Week, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) assured the public on Wednesday, April 8.
DSWD Spokesperson Irene Dumlao said the public can expect continued delivery of P5,000 to P8,000 low-income beneficiaries from Maundy Thursday to Easter Sunday.
“Yes, the distribution will continue,” she said in a Viber message when asked if the implementation of Social Amelioration Program (SAP) will push through this week.
During the “Laging Handa” network briefing on April 6, DSWD Secretary Rolando Baustista said they are closely coordinating with Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) on the release of subsidy funds.
He said they are trying to make an arrangement with Land Bank so that it can extend its operations until Good Friday.
When asked if Land Bank agreed to Bautista’s request, Dumlao said they “will wait for LBP’s response.”
Bautista noted the DSWD field offices (FOs) also recalled its personnel who are working from home to augment “their frontliners” and attend to concerns related to SAP this Holy Week.
“Sa totoo lang, ang DSWD ay talagang nag-go beyond sa sinasabi nating work at home lalo ang field offices. Ni-recall nila ang mga nakawork from home para iaugment ang frontliners natin alam natin na sabay-sabay ang pagroll out ng SAP (In fact, the DSWD is going beyond the work-from-home policy, especially in the field offices. They recalled those who were working from home to augment frontliners, as we knew that there will be a simultaneous roll out of the SAP),” he said.
“Makikita mo ang DSWD na nagtratrabaho at ine-ensure na maging successful ang social amelioration program. Palaging ine-emphasize na mabilis at siguraduhin na makarating agad ang ayuda sa probinsya, munisipyo, at city ng mga LGUs (You can see how the DSWD is working to ensure that the SAP roll out will be successful. We would like to emphasize and ensure that immediate assistance will certainly reach provinces, municipalities, and cities),” he added.
Aside from the 3.7 million beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) who are holders of cash cards, a total of 267,515 low-income households in the National Capital Region (NCR) have benefitted from the SAP, based on data provided by the DSWD.
These include some 4,000 families of transport network vehicle service (TNVS) drivers who were given P8,000 emergency subsidy on April 6.
Some 161 members of the Pasay City’s Tricycle Operators’ and Drivers’ Association (TODA) Federation also received their P8,000 cash subsidy.
The DSWD also extended emergency subsidies to low-income families in the cities of Manila and Parañaque. In the former, a total of 185,680 beneficiaries got their P8,000 subsidies, while “more than P621 million worth of emergency subsidies” were given to 77,674 beneficiaries in the latter on April 3.
Under Republic Act No. 11469 or the “Bayanihan to Heal as One” Act, each low-income household is entitled to receive an emergency subsidy ranging from P5,000 to P8,000 per month for two months.