By Minerva BC Newman
CEBU CITY – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD-7) has disbursed a total of P5,972,094 emergency cash grants under the “Social Amelioration Program (SAP) Bayanihan Fund: Tulong Laban sa COVID-19” to 995,359 beneficiaries who are non-Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) families based on its SAP implementation data updates as of May 19.
According to the SAP implementation tracker, 125 out of the 132 local government units (LGUs) in the region have completed the cash grants under the Emergency Subsidy Program (ESP) of P6,000 per family. The target beneficiaries under the ESP/SAP in Central Visayas are 1,058,075 families with a total budget requirement of P6,348,450.
According to Shalaine Marie Lucero, DSWD-7 assistant regional director, they are now at 94 percent in the distribution of the emergency cash grants under the SAP in the region.
“It is the responsibility of the LGUs to provide the most expedient and efficient way in the distribution. We have set a final deadline so that in case there is further instruction from DSWD-Central on the second wave of SAP, LGUs can focus working on it because the required documents are still to be cleared and complied with,” Lucero added.
The remaining seven LGUs in the Province of Cebu that have yet to complete the distribution of cash aids are from the cities of Carcar, Toledo, Bogo, Mandaue, and Cebu, while the municipalities of Balamban and Pinamungahan are expected to accomplish their distribution by May 20.
DSWD-7 Regional Director Rebecca Geamala said that more than 1,000 personnel from the regional and provincial offices helped validate the eligibility of SAP beneficiaries and check the possible duplication of assistance received.
Geamala said there are a lot of factors that resulted in the delay of the distribution of the said subsidy. However, based on DSWD memorandum circular #09, the DSWD is mandated to conduct validation of beneficiaries within fifteen (15) days after receiving the documents that support the LGUs’ completion of the distribution of the emergency subsidy.
“With our first wave distribution experience, DSWD-7 will be able to come up with a clean list of beneficiaries for the second tranche,” Geamala said.