By Chito Chavez
Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya on Monday, April 14, called on all the barangay officials to distribute the social amelioration card (SAC) forms first to their constituents who belong to the “poorest among the poor’’ sector.
In a press briefing, Malaya made this clear after mounting complaints about the discrepancies in the number of poor families and the problems in the distribution of SAC forms have reached the DILG. The SAC forms are being distributed to the public affected by the lockdown due to the novel coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). This is to determine the number of families that would be given financial aid by the government with the “poorest among the poor’’ being the target priority group.
Malaya warned the barangay officials to shun politics and favoritism in handing out the SAC forms and give them to the qualified beneficiaries based on the guidelines set by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
Aside from the poorest among the poor, Malaya said the DSWD has targeted the low income group, informal sector, no work no pay workers, and those with no regular jobs as among the qualified recipients. Expressing his point further, Malaya asked the barangay officials to include in the list the names of those without regular jobs and forward them to the local DSWD office where the roster may be included in the next batch.
Malaya assured the public that the DSWD has committed to secure funds for those qualified recipients who were not included in the initial list of beneficiaries. In the meantime, Malaya said that DILG Secretary Eduardo Año instructed the local government units (LGU) to prioritize the giving of food packs to those qualified beneficiaries who were excluded in the initial list.
Malaya reminded that the barangays may use their extra internal revenue allotment (IRA) given by the government through the “Bayanihan Grant’’ to provide assistance to those not included in the first batch. To prevent confusion, Malaya explained that each region will be given varying amounts of social amelioration program (SAP) benefits. He reminded the barangay officials that the SAP cash grants should be awarded to each low-income family and should not be divided and given to several individuals.
According to Malaya, the amount of SAP “Bayanihan Grants’’ to be given to each low-income family in each region are as follows: P8,000 for National Capital Region; P5,500 for Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Regions 1, and 2; P6,500 for Regions 3 and 4-A; P5,000 for Region 4-B and 5; P6,000 for Regions 6 and 7; P5,000 for Regions 8 and 9; P6,000 for Regions 10 and 11; and P5,000 for CARAGA and BARMM.