By Charissa Luci-Atienza
More than P97.95 billion worth of emergency subsidies have been distributed to over 17.33 million Social Amelioration Program (SAP) beneficiaries nationwide, the Department of Social Welfare and Development said on Tuesday, May 19.
DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista said the total number of SAP beneficiaries served is 96.33 percent of the 18 million low-income families targeted to receive the cash aid as provided for under Republic Act No. 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.
“Sa kabuuan, umaabot na P97.95 billion ang naipamahagi sa 17.33 million na benepisyaryo ng Social Amelioration Program– meaning to say 96.33 percent na ang nakatanggap na ng ayuda out of the 18 million target beneficiaries,” he said at the “Laging Handa” network briefing.
(Overall, P97.95 billion has been distributed to 17.33 million beneficiaries of the Social Amelioration Program– meaning to say 96.33 percent has received the cash assistance out of the 18 million target beneficiaries.)
He noted that 1, 232 or 75 percent of the total 1,634 local governments units (LGUs) recorded 100-percent completion rate in terms of SAP distribution.
Bautista said 365 LGUs also submitted their complete liquidation reports, while 65 LGUs are in the process of completing their liquidation for the first tranche of April cash subsidies.
He expressed confidence that the remaining 402 LGUs will soon be able to complete their SAP payouts.
“Tuloy tuloy pa rin ang pagbibigay ng ayuda, kung titingnan natin ang percentage, tanging ilan na lang ang hindi pa nabibigyan,” the DSWD official said. (The distribution of cash assistance continues, if we look at the percentage, only a few have yet to be given assistance.)
The DSWD has been reminding the LGUs to immediately submit their liquidation reports after completing the SAP payouts.
Under DSWD guidelines, the LGUs are required to submit the liquidation and financial reporting documents, including the list of encoded SAP beneficiaries, to the DSWD within 15 days from the completion of the distribution.
Bautista said they expect faster and efficient distribution of the SAP aid in the second tranche following the launch of the ReliefAgad mobile application.
He said 50 to 60 percent of the will be covered by the digital payment, while the remaining 40 percent will be given aid through payouts.
The DSWD said the mobile application, which was developed by the Developers Connect Philippines Community of Technology Partners (DEVCON-DCTx), will enable them to expedite capturing social amelioration card (SAC) details, and interface with any electronic payment systems.
“ReliefAgad will have an initial pilot run in the National Capital Region before full deployment nationwide,” it said in a statement on Tuesday, May 19.
The Department cited that the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through its E-PESO project (USAID/E-PESO), is supporting the deployment of ReliefAgad through a 24/7 technical support system and development of digital user guide and instructional materials.
USAID/E PESO will also be providing technical assistance on the disbursements of SAP subsidies via mobile phones, and on the use of e-payments for the disbursement of the subsidies to the SAP beneficiaries, it added.