By Charissa Luci-Atienza
A total of P6.773 billion emergency subsidies have been given to more than 800,000 low-income households who are non-beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) nationwide, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said on Sunday, April 19.
DSWD Spokesperson Irene Dumlao said as of 8 p.m., April 18, more than P800,000 low-income families benefitted from the government’s implementation of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP).
“As of April 18, 8 p.m., P6.773 billion [have been] given to non-4Ps beneficiaries,” she told reporters in a Viber message.
“Of the P6.773 billion transferred to LGUs, more than 800,000 non-4Ps beneficiaries have been served,” she said.
Dumlao disclosed that as of April 18, the total amount of SAP funds transferred to the LGUs was at P73.142 billion.
The figure is 91.43 percent of the P80 billion transferred by the DSWD Central Office to its Regional Offices on April 3 for distribution to non-CCT SAP beneficiaries numbering to 13.556 million households.
Dumlao noted that a total of 16.3 billion was distributed to more than 3.7 million 4Ps beneficiaries who are cash card holders.
Republic Act No. 11469 or the “Bayanihan to Heal as One” Act, entitles each low-income household to receive an emergency subsidy ranging from P5,000 to P8,000 per month for two months, covering April and May.
DSWD Undersecretary for Special Concerns Camilo Gudmalin said the department is set to complete the distribution of the first tranche of emergency subsidies by April 25.
“That was an estimate based on MC 9 (Memorandum Circular No. 9 series of 2020). But LGUs after the passage of MC 9 became [more] careful, [ensuring] that their lists are correct,” he said in a text message.
“We are monitoring the trend on a daily basis. It’s unfolding [sic],” he said when asked if the April 25 target is “realistic.”
He said a total of P74.5 billion has been transferred to 1,454 LGUs.
“The number served double [than yesterday’s] figures and if these trends continue, an increasing number of beneficiaries will be served in the coming days,” Gudmalin said.
He earlier clarified that LGUs are in charge with identifying and listing eligible beneficiaries, not DSWD as stipulated in MC 9 series of 2020 and previous MCs.
“What is projected currently in media and in the understanding of most people [is] that DSWD is the one identifying and selecting. We are not,” he said.
He noted that the DSWD briefed the LGUs on who are the target beneficiaries based on the joint memorandum circular issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force COVID-19.
“DSWD will not pay the beneficiaries, but the LGUs. That’s why we transferred the funds to the LGUs. We only monitor,” Gudmalin pointed out.
He explained that such arrangements are stipulated in the memorandum of agreement (MOA) between LGUs and DSWD.
“We believe that the LGUs know their respective constituents and can properly screened the eligible beneficiaries,” the DSWD official said.
He noted that under MC 9, “in response to the criticisms of slow or delayed payouts, the prior validation role of DSWD is now post audit only.”
“In the same MC, the LGU is expected to start the payouts five days from receipt of the fund,” he explained.