DSWD ascertains legality of SAP 2 before distributing cash subsidy

Published June 10, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Charissa Luci-Atienza

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Wednesday, June 10 said that it is consulting with legal experts to ensure that the agency’s distribution of the second tranche of cash subsidies is within the bounds of the law.

Department of Social Welfare and Development (MANILA BULLETIN)
Department of Social Welfare and Development (MANILA BULLETIN)

DSWD Undersecretary Rene Glen Paje said this following the differing views on the expiration of Republic Act No.11649 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, the agency sought legal advice as to whether they can proceed with the second phase implementation of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) without waiting for the passage of the Bayanihan to Recover as One bill or the co-called Bayanihan 2.

In a media briefing last Monday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the second wave of subsidies will continue regardless of when the Bayanihan Act expires, since the money is already available.

Some senators earlier said RA 11469 lapsed on Friday, June 5 after Congress failed to approve a law to replace it. Last week, Senator Sonny Angara, sponsor of the Bayanihan 2 bill, expressed belief that the effectivity of RA 11469 ended on Friday, citing that the Constitution provides that special powers given to the President during national emergencies “shall cease to exist” upon the adjournment of Congress.

Paje said the agency is determined to start distribute the cash aid before the Bayanihan Law expires on June 25 “unless there are other events and other development that might affect their actions.”

He reiterated that the DSWD can start distributing the cash aid this week.

“Uunahin po natin ang 4Ps na dumaan na sa validation process kaya maumpisahan po natin. Base sa legal na opinyon, maaari naman, sa aming palagay, ang intent ng batas ay tulungan ang mga nangangailangan. Kung kaya’t wala naman malaking issue dito kapag ating tinuloy na sapagkat marami sa legal minds na sumasang-ayon na maaari itong ituloy, hanggang sa takdang panahon, o hanggang mawala ang effectivity nito,” the DSWD officia said.

(We will begin with 4Ps who already underwent validation process so we can already begin the implementation. Based on the legal opinion, we can start, in our view, the intent of the law is to help those who are in need. That is why there is no big issue here should we continue because there are many legal minds who agreed that this can continue, until its designated period or until the law’s effectivity lapsed.)

In a virtual press briefing on Tuesday, Paje said around 1.3 million beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) from the enhanced community areas (ECQ) will receive the second tranche of cash aid.

The DSWD said those who will benefit from the second tranche are more than 8.5 million low-income families in enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) areas, the 5 million “waitlisted” beneficiaries nationwide as approved by President Duterte for inclusion in the program, and the 3.5 million from the “waitlisted” in ECQ areas.

The areas that are set to receive the second tranche were identified based on the Executive Order No. 112, Series of 2020 dated May 1, and the memorandum signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea on May 2.

Covered by the second phase of SAP are Region III except Aurora Province; National Capital Region (NCR); CALABARZON; Benguet; Pangasinan; Iloilo; Cebu Province; Bacolod City; Davao City, Albay Province and Zamboanga City.