Año admits huge problems hamper SAP distribution

Published May 6, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Chito Chavez

Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año on Wednesday admitted that huge problems are hampering the distribution of the cash assistance under the social amelioration program (SAP) to their target beneficiaries in Metro Manila on the eve of the May 7 deadline.

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año  (PCOO/ MANILA BULLETIN)
DILG Secretary Eduardo Año (PCOO/ MANILA BULLETIN)

He said that a large percentage of the qualified beneficiaries of the SAP aid is in Metro Manila.

What had compounded the problem is that the SAP complaints dealt mostly with rogue barangay officials playing favorites towards their relatives and supporters.

In some cases, the family members of incumbent barangay officials were included in the list taking over the place of the qualified poor beneficiaries.

Despite these problems, Año said other local government units are doing well in the distribution of the cash assistance.

In Metro Manila, Año said it remains a huge challenge for the barangays to distribute the financial aid to the most vulnerable without violating physical distancing regulations.

The DILG had earlier reported that a total of 828 local government units in the country have completed the SAP distribution.

Of the total number, 56 were in the Cordillera Administrative Region, 38 in Ilocos Region, 31 in Cagayan Valley, 36 in Central Luzon, 63 in CALABARZON, 62 in MIMAROPA, 70 in the Bicol region, 114 in Western Visayas, 52 in Central Visayas, 95 in Eastern Visayas, 71 in Zamboanga Peninsula, 17 in Northern Mindanao, 26 in Davao region, 32 in SOCCSKSARGEN, and 65 in CARAGA.

The DILG initially set an April 30 deadline for the distribution of the cash aid to qualified beneficiaries.

However, many local chief executives said it was impossible to comply with the initial deadline. Año extended the deadline to May 7.

Año said he will no longer extend the SAP distribution beyond May 7, adding that he was confident that it will be finished by Thursday.

Those who fail to comply with the deadline will be given due process, he added.

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte has sought a 25-day extension for the SAP distribution saying it could have been done in the city within the deadline if only social distancing was not followed.