DSWD ready to face House probe on SAP implementation

Published June 18, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Charissa Luci-Atienza 

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said on Thursday, June 18 that it is ready to face the House of Representatives’ inquiry into the apparent confusion and delays in the distribution of Social Amelioration Program (SAP) emergency cash subsidy.

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

DSWD Undersecretary Rene Glen Paje vowed the agency’s full cooperation in the probe being sought by Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and eight other House leaders.

“Handa po ang DSWD na ibigay ang buong kooperasyon sa magiging pandinig sa House of Representatives ukol sa Social Amelioration Program,” he said in a virtual press briefing on Thursday.

(The DSWD is ready to give its full cooperation in the upcoming investigation of the House of Representatives regarding the Social Amelioration Program.)

He said they respect the decision of the House leaders to look into the agency’s supposed “lengthy and complicated procedure” for the distribution of the SAP benefits, and its failure to consider the proposals of the local officials on how to streamline the process.

“Para sa DSWD po ang nasabing pagsisiyasat ay isang pagkakataon upang tumugon sa mga katanungan ng mga mambabatas at mabigyan ng linaw at maipaliwanag ang mga proseso na isinagawa upang mapanatili ang integridad ng nasabing program,” the DSWD official said.

(For the DSWD, the House probe is a venue to respond to the questiona of the lawmakers and to shed light and explain the ongoing process to maintain the integrity of the program.)

He said that with the investigation, the lawmakers can give their recommendations within the ambit of the law which can possibly be used for other programs.

Cayetano led the filing of House Resolution 973 seeking to look into the “inexcusable” delay in the SAP distribution, saying that it is “contrary to the general principle espoused by President Rodrigo Duterte that the most vulnerable Filipinos shall get the resources at the fastest possible time with the least number of requirements and regulations.”

The House leaders scored the DSWD’s “lengthy and complicated procedure” for the distribution of the cash aid, which requires “a total of 30 steps and five layers of approval, with an estimated completion time of three weeks.”

They also described as “long, tedious and intimidating” the requirement of filling out the social amelioration card (SAC) forms.

They lamented that the issuance of four memorandum circulars in a span of five days and the prescription of a 30-step procedure caused confusion to the local government units (LGUs) and the intended recipients.

Among those House leaders who joined Cayetano in filing HR No. 973 are Deputy Speakers Luis Raymund Villafuerte Jr. (Camarines Sur,2nd District), Raneo Abu (Batangas, 2nd District), Dan Fernandez (Laguna, 1st District), Neptali Gonzales II (Mandaluyong, Lone District), as well as Representative Theresa Collantes (Batangas 3rd District), Representative Cristal Bagatsing (Manila, 5th District), Representative Ruth Mariano-Hernandez (Laguna, 2nd District) and Representative Manuel Luis Lopez (Manila, 1st District).