4,000 non-qualified SAP beneficiaries to receive 1 sack of rice in Biliran town

By Marie Tonette Marticio

TACLOBAN City - Over 4,000 poor families in Naval, Biliran who were not qualified to receive the P5,000 cash aid under the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will be receiving a sack of rice instead.

"Kahit hindi natuloy ang Bayanihan, Walang mapapabayaan. Walang maiiwan. Lahat ng na-disqualify na pamilya ay makakatanggap ng one sack of commercial rice," Mayor Gerard Espina said, referring to "The Bayanihan Heal as One Act" which mandates 18 million low-income families to receive between P5,000 to P8,000 aid for basic food, medicine, and toiletries.

Espina noted that the rice distribution also excludes members of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) and those who were able to receive cash grants from the Department of Agriculture, Department of Trade and Industry, and Department of Labor and Employment.

According to the mayor, around 9,000 families in the municipality have received the SAP assistance excluding the 4Ps members who have received aid earlier.

He added that the commercial rice was purchased from rice farmers who are having a hard time selling their produce due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

The mayor said the fund was taken from their 1-month internal revenue allotment worth P13 million. They have allocated P8 million to purchase the rice and the rest will be ulitized for programs allowed under the Department of the Interior and Local Government grant.

He said the initiative is also in support of the agricultural sector in the province which has been heavily affected by the world health crisis.