By Chito A. Chavez
Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año on Monday said that the distribution of the cash aid under the social amelioration program (SAP) to the 18 million recipients in the initial batch will have to be completed before the other five million beneficiaries who were not included in the first list are given their share of P5,000 to P8,000.
In a press briefing, Año said the DILG granted the extension of the cash distribution that ends on May 7 to the LGUs who had difficulty complying with the initial April 30 deadline due to the huge number of residents qualified for the SAP related financial aid.
Año said the LGUs should provide them with the list of qualified beneficiaries who were excluded from the first batch.
He added that the names of the unqualified residents will also have to be submitted either on survey form or in any other methods the LGUs wish to enable the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to validate them for possible aid considerations in the future.
DILG Undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya had earlier appealed for public patience and understanding as millions have accused barangay officials of playing favorites in the cash aid distribution.
He assured that the five million qualified grantees excluded from the initial batch will be included in the second tranche.
Malaya has recognized the extreme struggle the barangay officials face in identifying the most qualified beneficiaries for the subsidy.
With this current situation, Malaya said some barangay officials were unfairly branded as corrupt while admitting that others were indeed deceitful and dishonest.
Malaya said the 18 million low income families were based on the 2015 survey made by the DSWD.
He noted that the DILG is still waiting for the specific DSWD guidelines with regards to the distribution of the cash aid in the second tranche to the left-out families.
Malaya said that those in the informal and vulnerable sectors are prioritized in the program.