By Charissa Luci-Arienza
Families of stranded overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), and pensioners of Social Security System (SSS) and Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) receiving P1,500 pension or lower and whose family members lost their work or livelihood during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) may be included as target beneficiaries of the government’s Social Amelioration Program (SAP).
DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista said the concerned households may be qualified to receive the emergency subsidies from the government.
“Ang mga GSIS and SSS pensioners ay patuloy pa rin na nakakatanggap ng kanilang pension sa kabila ng umiiral ng enhanced community quarantine. Ngunit kung halimbawa ay ang pension na natatanggap ng isang senior citizen ay halagang P1,500 or pababa lamang at batay sa assessment ng kanilang LGU ay lubos na naapektuhan na pamilya dahil nawalan rin nang pagkakitaan ang iba pang miyembro ng kanyang pamilya, maari syang maipasama, ang kanyang pamilya sa mga benepisyaryo ng programa,” he said in a virtual press briefing on Tuesday. (GSIS and SSS pensioners continue to receive their pension during the enhanced community quarantine. But, for example, a senior citizen is receiving P1,500 or lower and based on the assessment of their LGUs that the family has been severely affected because other members of his household have lost their livelihood, he will likely be included, his family as beneficiary of the program.)
He said households of those stranded OFWs will likely be included in the list of SAP beneficiaries.
“Ang mga pamilya naman ng mga overseas Filipinos in distress o silang naibalik sa bansa o walang kita o hindi napadalhan ng pera mula sa overseas Filipinos dahil sa COVID 19 o silang pinagbawalan bumyahe sa labas ng bansa o stranded mula noon dahil sa paglaganap ng COVID-19 na pumigil sa kakayanan nila na magtrabaho sa labas ng bansa mula Enero 2020 hanggang sa pag-alis ng community quarantine ay maari rin maipasama sa target beneficiaries,” Bautista said. (The families of overseas Filipinos in distress or those who were repatriated or those who lost income or those who were not able to get remittance from overseas Filipinos due to COVID-19 or those who were prohibited to travel outside the country or stranded because of COVID-19 that hampered them to work abroad from January 2020 until the lifting the community quarantine will likely be included as target beneficiaries.)
The DSWD had earlier decided to include barangay health workers, barangay tanods, and barangay day-care workers as “target beneficiaries” of SAP after the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) “recommended their inclusion”, given that they are “sub-minimum wage earners” and belong to the “disadvantaged or vulnerable sectors.”
Bautista said that for those who have complaints regarding the implementation of SAP, they may go directly to the DSWD Field Offices.
“May tatlong araw mula ng magbigay ng payout sa kanilang barangay na hilingin sa provincial, city, municipal social welfare and development office na maisma sila sa listahan ng mga benepisyaryo,” the DSWD official said. (They have three working days from the day of payout in their barangay to appeal to provincial, city, municipal social welfare and development office for inclusion in the list of beneficiaries.)
He said the list will be forwarded by provincial, city, municipal social welfare and development officers to the DSWD Field Offices.
Bautista had earlier said the list of “left-outs” or those eligible but did not receive the first wave of subsidy will be submitted to the economic managers for assessment.
He disclosed that the DSWD designated a hotline to attend to the concerns of senior citizens and persons with disabilities.
During the virtual media briefing, Bautista disclosed that more than P80.7 billion SAP funds have been downloaded to 1,515 local government units (LGUs).
In a statement, the DSWD said that as of April 28, more than P45 billion worth of subsidies have already been distributed to 8.2 million SAP beneficiaries.
“Patuloy na paiigtingin ng DSWD ang validation at assessment nito upang masiguro na maayos na maipapatupad ang pamamahagi ng ayuda sa mga kwalipikadong benepisyaryo ng SAP,” it said. (The DSWD will intensify its validation and assessment to ensure that the distribution of aid to qualified beneficiaries of SAP will be properly implemented.)
SAP beneficiaries also include 3,729,757 4Ps families who received P16.4 billion worth of emergency subsidies; and 40,418 families of Transport Network Vehicle Service (TNVS) and Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) drivers who got P323 million subsidy allocation.
Bautista reassured the public that the interagency technical working group on social amelioration program is flexing its muscles to come up with the guidelines on the implementation of the second tranche of SAP subsidy.
e said that aside from DSWD, sitting at the TWG group as members are the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Finance (DOF), and Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
He said the new guidelines will be “aligned and consistent” with the Republic Act No. 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act and will be presented to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) for its approval.
Bautista said the DSWD, through its Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS), has extended P119.5 million financial assistance to its 27,390 clients, including 6,478 stranded individuals.
He also assured the public that the DSWD continues to provide relief assistance to LGUs who need augmentation support to respond to the needs of their constituents.
He noted that the DSWD has distributed a total of 521,969 Family Food Packs (FFPs) worth about P206.7 million nationwide.