By Argyll Geducos
The Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) assured the recipients of the social amelioration program that they will receive the benefits and apologized for the delay in the distribution of the emergency subsidy.
Cabinet Secretary and IATF spokesman Karlo Nograles said the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is already working on resolving the issues concerning the timely distribution of the benefits.
Among the concerns are security, the reconciliation of lists of beneficiaries, and logistical challenges especially with regard to remote communities in the provinces.
“Tuloy-tuloy po silang nakikipag-ugnayan sa ating mga LGU para po matugunan lahat ito (They are continuously coordinating with the local government units to address these concerns),” Nograles said.
“Sa ating mga kababayan na naghihintay po para sa mga subsidies na ito, humihingi po kami ng paumanhin at pasensya. Nguni’t makakaasa po kayo na ginagawa po natin ang lahat ng ating makakaya upang mapaabot sa inyo ang tulong na ito sa lalong madaling panahon (We would like to apologize to those who are waiting for the subsidies. We assure you that we are doing everything we can to distribute them as soon as possible),” he added.
Nograles assured the public that the target beneficiaries of the social amelioration program will receive the right amount of benefits.
“Sinisiguro din nating makarating ito sa inyo ng walang bawas at aberya (We also assure them that the subsidies will not be deducted and will be delivered to you without any hassle),” he said.
Nograles called on the LGUs to submit the signed memorandum of agreement and budget proposal to the DSWD so the emergency subsidies can be distributed soon.
According to DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista, the agency has released more than P323 million for 14,418 beneficiaries that belong to drivers and transport groups in the National Capital Region (NCR). It has also transferred P43 billion to LGUs and P800 million to the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
Bautista had earlier said they did not have any problem distributing the subsidy to members of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) because they already have a credible list of recipients. However, he said the DSWD encountered a problem for the other beneficiaries.
“Siguro ang ine-expect po namin noon na ang LGU dahil alam nila ang kanilang constituents ay (Perhaps we were expecting that the local government units already know the beneficiaries because these are their constituents and) they have the profile: the names, the work, and other livelihood activities,” he said.
Bautista said the problem is slowly getting fixed as the DSWD continues to engage with the LGUs.
“As we continue to engage the LGU, municipal, city social welfare development offices, we were able to identify and determine what are the gaps and the shortcomings. Hopefully, in due time, we will be able to distribute the cash amelioration systematically and orderly,” he said.
The social amelioration program is being implemented to help families affected by the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). It aims to provide a subsidy ranging from P5,000 to P8,000 to 18 million families depending on the minimum wage in their area.