By Mike Crismundo
BUTUAN CITY – A beneficiary of the government’s Pantawid ng Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) returned to the Tandag City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) P5,000 in benefits that were erroneously awarded to her husband last April 22.
Alicia A. Astodillo of Sitio Banahao, Barangay Maitum of Tandag City went to the CSWDO to return the P5,000 that her husband received as Social Amelioration Program (SAP) benefit.
She handed the cash to CSWD Officer Tessie S. Buniel.
“I am returning this cash whole-heartedly. I am sorry that my husband received the cash. I am returning this cash willfully,” Astodillo told Buniel in the vernacular.
Another supposed SAP recipient was Jimmy S. Garcia of Barangay Mabua, who also returned the cash benefit, saying that others could be of more need of the assistance. His wife is a public school teacher.
In Esperanza, Agusan del Sur, Zygene Perez, a Manobo woman, who is a member of the 4Ps’ Modified Conditional Cash Transfer Program for Indigenous Peoples (MCCT-IP), also returned the P5,000 she received from the local government of Esperanza town.
Under the SAP guidelines, 4Ps members were also qualified to get the cash aid, but their P5,000 assistance were distributed straight to their cash cards.
There are instances that other members of their families could also be listed as SAP beneficiaries, which could lead to the duplication of grants given to families.
Based on the guidelines, a household is excluded from SAP if they have already availed of other subsidy from other agencies, one of its members is a government employee, or if the family is financially stable.
In Butuan City and in Veruela, Agusan del Sur, other Caraganons, who refused to be named, also returned the SAP cash aid, saying that they were financially stable and that other poor families could use the financial assistance.
They also called on other families with financial capacity in these dire times, but are listed as beneficiaries, to waive their P5,000-allocation so that this could be directed to other poor and more deserving families.
“There are still Samaritans nowadays. . . magandang tularan sila,” said DSWD 13 Regional Director Mita Chuchi Gupana-Lim.