By Charissa Luci-Atienza
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said on Wednesday that local government units (LGUs) that will fail to complete the distribution of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) subsidies by Thursday, May 7, may seek for another extension from the Department of the Interior and Local Governments (DILG).
DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista said that only 47 local government units of the 556 LGUs that completed the SAP payouts have submitted their respective liquidation reports. There are 1,634 LGUs in the country.
“Sa akin personally, kung sakali man di ma-meet yung deadline bukas, siguro puede rin ulet silang magrequest for the extension sa ating DILG at ipaliwanag kung bakit hindi nila ma-meet ang deadline at of course, nasa Kalihim ng Interior and Local Government kung papahintulutan pa sila mag-extend,” he said in a radio interview.
(For me personally, if the deadline will not be met tomorrow, maybe they can request for an extension from the DILG and explain why they failed to meet the deadline. It is up to the Secretary of the Interior and Local Government if they will be allowed to extend.)
He said that the SAP distribution in COVID-affected areas and those with security concerns has been delayed.
The DILG will issue show-cause orders against the LGUs that fail to comply with the May 7 deadline to distribute the emergency subsidies.
The LGUs in the National Capital Region (NCR), the provinces of Cavite and Bulacan, and the cities of Cebu and Davao have been given a seven-day extension in the distribution of SAP, which was supposed to be completed by April 30. All other LGUs were given a four-day extension.
Bautista said that the distribution of the second wave of cash aid will depend on the LGUs’ submission of their liquidation reports.
“Kapag hindi po sila nakapagliquidate sa unang tranche na ayuda sa buwan ng April ay madra-drag po ito. Kaya apparently pag natagalan ang pag-liquidate nila, hindi rin po mabibigay ang ayuda para sa pangalawang buwan,” he said.
(If they fail to liquidate the first tranche of aid for the month of April, this (the distribution of the second tranche of SAP) will be delayed. Apparently, if there will be delays in liquidations, the aid for the second month will not be given.)
He noted that 556 LGUs have completed their SAP payouts, while 47 LGUs already submitted their liquidation reports.
When asked if the SAP funds will be forfeited should the LGUs fail to complete the distribution, he said the LGUs are obliged to complete the distribution of the first tranche of the emergency subsidies.
“Hinihikayat ang local na pamahalaan na as much as possible, i-meet nila ang deadline na tinalaga ng ating Kalihim ng Interior and Local Government (We are encouraging the local governments to meet the deadline set by our DILG Secretary.),” Bautista said.
He said the DSWD already transferred all the SAP funds to the LGUs as early as April 13.
During the “Laging Handa” briefing, Bautista said the DSWD already downloaded P80.9 billion SAP funds to 1,518 LGUs.
Bautista said they are awaiting this week Malacañang’s issuance of an executive order (EO) that will serve as the basis and will provide the guidelines for the second phase of the implementation of SAP.
Malacañang had earlier announced that an additional five million low-income families will be included in the SAP.
Bautista said the inter-agency technical working group on SAP will make the EO as basis for the drafting of the guidelines for the second wave of cash aid.
Aside from the DSWD, sitting at the TWG group on SAP are the Department of Labor and Employment (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).
Bautista earlier disclosed that an EO is being drafted relative to the implementation of the second wave of emergency subsidies.
He said the Inter-agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) already forwarded a resolution on the second phase implementation of the SAP to the Office of the President (OP) for its approval.