By Charissa Luci-Atienza
The digital disbursement of the second tranche of Social Amelioration Program (SAP) cash aid is set to begin “next week,” the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) announced on Monday (June 29) night.
The DSWD said it has forged a partnership with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to expeditiously disburse the emergency subsidies to the beneficiaries of the government’s second phase implementation of SAP.
“DSWD is now finalizing important details of the distribution process of the SAP second tranche with the participating FSPs (financial service providers). Distribution of digital payment is expected to start next week,” it said in a statement.
The department said it has inked a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the BSP “for the digital disbursement” of the second tranche of cash subsidies.
“Under the agreement, the DSWD and BSP look forward to an expeditious means of distributing the SAP to the beneficiaries while complying with the health and safety protocols of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID),” it said.
The MOA provides that BSP is tasked to assist the DSWD in its technical discussions with partner FSPs to ensure the effective implementation of account-based and electronic disbursements.
The digital electronic disbursement will be done through transaction accounts, like bank or e-money accounts undertaken by duly authorized FSPs, the DSWD explained.
It said the agency and the BSP recognized the digital electronic disbursement as “the most expedient way” to distribute the SAP subsidies.
Among the major considerations set by the BSP in determining the FSPs are the following: presence of payout partners to ensure ease and ability to cash out by beneficiaries, presence of any business model institution, historical experience in commercial roll out, and type of cash out points that may contribute to ensuring liquidity/availability of cash.
This was contained in the BSP’s letter sent to DSWD Undersecretary for Operations, Atty. Aimee Torrefranca-Neri.
“DSWD welcomes this partnership with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. It has the expertise on digitization that is needed to ensure the smooth, efficient, and speedy distribution of the cash subsidy to the beneficiaries,” the DSWD said.
“BSP also has the regulatory power over financial service providers, thus, it knows which perform well,” it noted.
The DSWD already distributed more than P6.746 billion worth of second tranche of cash subsidies to 1,336,635 Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries who are cash card holders.
It also conducted SAP payouts for “waitlisted” beneficiaries in Dona Remedios, Bulacan; Kapangan, Benguet; Baguio City; Balaoan, La Union; and Mabalacat, Pampanga.
The 11 areas covered by SAP 2 are Region III, except Aurora province, the National Capital Region (NCR); Calabarzon; Benguet; Pangasinan; Iloilo; Cebu Province; Bacolod City; Davao City, Albay Province and Zamboanga City.