By Charissa Luci-Atienza
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has instituted a “grievance redress mechanism” to address the concerns and complaints of the public regarding the government’s implementation of Social Amelioration Program (SAP).
DSWD spokesperson Irene Dumlao said the Department has stepped up its efforts to address the snowballing concerns about the P5,000 to P8,000 emergency subsidy program.
“Ang DSWD ang nangunguna sa implementation ng SAP ay naglagay o nag-institute ng grievance redress mechanism para po ating ma-accommodate, ma-solusyunan, at matugunan ang reklamo ng ating mga kababayan hinggil sa implementasyon ng SAP (The DSWD that is leading the implementation of the SAP has put in place a grievance redress mechanism to accommodate, solve, and respond to the complaints of the public),” she said during the “Laging Handa” briefing aired on state-run PTV-4 on Monday, April 13.
Dumlao advised those “eligible” but are not included in the DSWD’s indicative number of beneficiaries “can appeal” before their respective social welfare and development offices for inclusion in the subsidy program.
She said the social welfare and development offices will submit the list of other “eligible” beneficiaries to the Field Offices for validation.
“Our Field Offices can validate the eligible beneficiaries outside the target number or indicative number of target beneficiaries. I-vavalidate po ito ng DSWD at ipapamahagi sa mga economic managers para mapagaralan (This will be validated by the DSWD and will be presented to the economic managers for scrutiny),” she said.
Dumlao noted that more than 50 percent of the P80 billion, amounting to over P47 billion, emergency subsidy funds downloaded to local government units (LGUs) has been distributed to their rightful beneficiaries.
She said the DSWD has distributed more than P341 million to low-income families.
She noted that the DSWD is in close coordination with the Department of Transportation and Land Transportation, Franchising, and Regulatory Board (DOTr-LTFRB) to grant emergency subsidies to 40,000 families of transport network vehicle service (TNVS) drivers and public utility vehicles (PUVs) drivers nationwide.
Dumlao said more than P323 million has been allocated for the households of TNVS and PUVs drivers.
Last April 3, the DSWD signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the DOTr-LTFRB and Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) on the implementation of the SAP to PUV drivers nationwide affected by the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
The MOA provides that drivers of public utility jeepneys and buses (PUJs/PUBs), point to point buses (P2P), transport network vehicle service (TNVS), UV Express, taxis, school transport, tourist transport, and motorcycle taxis are “eligible” to receive the cash subsidy under SAP.
It noted that eligible recipients are entitled to P5,000 to P8,000, based on regional minimum wage rate.
Republic Act No. 11469 or the “Bayanihan to Heal as One Act” mandates that each low-income household shall receive an emergency subsidy ranging from P5,000 to P8,000 per month for two months.
Dumlao earlier noted that the government released P16.3 billion in emergency subsidy for 3.7 million beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).
She earlier clarified that all 4Ps beneficiaries are still included in the government’s SAP, following their reported exclusion from the program.
A total of 1,196,634 4Ps beneficiaries from Regions I, II, III, CALABARZON, National Capital Region (NCR), Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) got their subsidy allocation on April 3.
Meanwhile, on April 4, a total of 1,294, 679 4Ps beneficiaries in Regions IV-B (MIMAROPA), V (Bicol), VI (Western Visayas) , VII (Central Visayas), and IX (Zamboanga Peninsula) received their subsidies.
A total of 1,230, 513, 4Ps beneficiaries in Region VIII (Eastern Visayas),X (Northern Mindanao) , XI (Davao) XII (Soccksargen), CARAGA, and all other regions were given the SAP Bayanihan Fund on April 5.
As of Jan. 31, 2020, there are more than 4.2 million “active” 4Ps beneficiaries, the DSWD said.
The DSWD said it has “full control and supervision” of the emergency subsidy distribution based on President Duterte’s directive. Though, it may seek the assistance of LGUs in the distribution of the subsidies together with the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
The DSWD assured the public that it will conduct thorough monitoring based on existing strategies to ensure that the assistance will go to the rightful beneficiaries.
“The Department emphasized that the government wants to help all families affected by the crisis to receive the social amelioration programs but priority will be given to the poor and those at risk of not earning income during this quarantine period,” the DSWD said.
“The Department urged families to stay at home as help is already on the way to ensure that they can meet their daily food needs during this time of public health emergency,” it added.