By Charissa Luci-Atienza
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said on Tuesday, March 28, that Social Amelioration Program (SAP) beneficiaries in areas which are placed under general community quarantine (GCQ) will still receive the first tranche of emergency subsidies.
DSWD spokesperson Irene Dumlao made the assurance after Davao Oriental Governor Nelson Dayanghirang asked if the distribution of the first wave of subsidy would continue in his province.
“Considering po ang pondo ay nailipat na sa local government units lalong lalo na ang first tranche, ito po ay ipapatupad natin, patuloy po natin ibibigay ang ayuda sa ating mga kababayan na naapektuhan (Considering that the fund has been turned over to the LGUs, especially the first tranche, we will continue implementing the distribution of the aid to our countrymen who were affected),” she said during the “Laging Handa” network briefing on Tuesday.
She explained that under Republic Act No. 11469 or the “Bayanihan to Heal As One Act,” low-income households are entitled to receive the cash subsidy ranging from P5,000 to P8,000 for two months from April to May.
Dumlao noted that more than P80 billion SAP funds have been transferred to 1,500 local government units. Of this, P39.4 billion has been disbursed, benefiting 7.6 million SAP beneficiaries nationwide.
“Sa kasalukuyan ho, hindi pa ho tapos ang pagrelease ng amelioration program sa phase 1. Kung sa ngayon po na under na kami sa GCQ, itutuloy pa rin po ba ninyo na tapusin ang first release ng amelioration program (At present, the release of the first phase of the amelioration program has yet to be completed. If we are now under GCQ, are you still going to complete the first release)?” Dayanghirang asked Dumlao during the network briefing.
Dayanghirang also asked Dumlao as to whether Davao Oriental would still receive the second round of the subsidy in May.
Dumlao said Dayanghirang’s concern is now being addressed by the interagency technical working group on social amelioration program who already convened to come up with the guidelines on the implementation of the second tranche of the SAP subsidy.
“Titiyakin ng grupo na ito na ‘yung guidelines na mabubuo ay aligned po dun sa intent at purpose ng Republic Act 11469 (The group will ensure that the guidelines will be aligned with the intent and purpose ng Republic Act 11469) ,” she said.
She said the group would submit its proposed guidelines to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) for its deliberation and approval.
Aside from DSWD, sitting at the TWG group as members are the Department of Labor and Enployment (DOLE), Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Finance (DOF),and Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque on Friday morning announced that low-income households living in areas where the ECQ has been lifted will no longer receive the cash aid, while the areas under lockdown can expect continued distribution of the emergency subsidies.
Expected to receive the second wave of emergency subsidies are poor families in Metro Manila, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, and other areas still under lockdown.
Last week, President Duterte decided to extend the ECQ for another two weeks or until May 15.