Pasay LGU agrees with DILG’s extension for SAP distribution until May 10

Published May 7, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Dhel Nazario

Pasay City Mayor Emi Calixto-Rubiano is in favor of the Department of the Interior and Local Government’s (DILG) May 10 deadline to distribute the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) funds to target beneficiaries. Calixto-Rubiano said that the extension would give Pasay enough time to cover all the 46,000 families under SAP.

Pasay City Mayor Emi Calixto-Rubiano (Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN)
Pasay City Mayor Emi Calixto-Rubiano

So far, Pasay has been able to reach 18,400 families, or 40 percent of the total number of beneficiaries, and the mayor expressed optimism that the LGU will be able to distribute the funds especially after the DILG announced that beneficiaries who have yet to receive the funds will be exempted from the curfew.

“This will definitely help speed up the distribution of the funds,” the mayor said. Besides the May 10 deadline extension, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) advised senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWDs) to send their representatives to receive the funds to avoid any untoward incidents while in queue.

It also recommended that SAP funds be delivered straight to the houses of senior citizens, PWDs, pregnant women, PUIs, and Covid-19 positive persons.

The mayor said there will be no let up in their drive to provide SAP to all the beneficiaries on May 10. Earlier, the mayor said the May 7 deadline earlier given by the DILG was not enough to cover all the beneficiaries.

“We have a total of 201 barangays in our city from which some 46,000 families are to be given P8,000 each under this program. But much as we have been exerting efforts to fast track this distribution, we also have to undertake extra precautionary measures considering the increased cases of COVID-19 in some of these barangays as well as the need to beef up the protection of our people from the risk of contracting the disease,” Mayor Emi said.

As of May 7, data from the Pasay City Health Office showed there were 259 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the city, and 907 combined “Probable” and “Suspect” cases.

There have also been recorded 22 deaths from the disease. More than half of the 200-plus personnel of the Pasay Social Welfare and Development Department (PSWDD)— the lead office in implementing the SAP in the city—have been on home quarantine to prevent exposure to COVID-19 while some have already been exposed to it, leaving the department with only 69 “physically active and functioning personnel” to date.

A number of personnel from other offices that were requested or designated to assist in the funds distribution have likewise been in quarantine.

To address these circumstances, the LGU has been ensuring strict measures to prevent any contamination of the virus among the beneficiaries.

This also goes for the host barangays or venues of the SAP funds distribution and among the City hall personnel implementing the task.

These measures include the sanitation and disinfection of the said venues, and rigid enforcement of social distancing of people involved in the process, and their wearing of basic protective gear such as face masks and face shields, the mayor said.

She added that senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWDs)—considered as relatively more vulnerable to the virus and with difficulty in mobility—have been discouraged from proceeding to the funds distribution sites, as their allocated funds are being brought to them in their homes by the City personnel.

The LGU, through the PSWDD, has also been keenly undertaking cross matching of its listed target beneficiaries with those in the list prepared by the DSWD NCR/National to make sure that families or individuals that have already received their allocation from national government agencies (NGAs) are not listed anymore in the SAP.

This cross matching covers members of the 4Ps, displaced workers that have been given assistance by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), and drivers that are beneficiaries already from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).

Also, as the LGU undertakes the process for the SAP, it also has not let up on its implementation of equally important functions and COVID-19 responses such as massive sanitation and disinfection in barangays and public facilities; food aid procurement, repacking and distribution; management of COVID-19 cases (confirmed, probable and suspect); enforcement of curfew and ECQ regulations; and assistance and protection to COVID-19 patients and frontliners who experience discrimination or “bullying,” among others.