The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) admitted on Tuesday (July 21) that it encountered “challenges” in the distribution of the second tranche of the emergency cash aid under the national government’s Social Amelioration Program (SAP), particularly its transition from manual to digital payout.
DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista said being the lead implementor of the SAP 2, the agency is exhausting all means to ensure that the digital and manual distribution of the second wave of subsidies to 17 million beneficiaries, including the “waitlisted” recipients will be completed by July 31.
“Inaamin po namin na nagkakaroon ng mga challenges sa implementasyon ng second tranche ng SAP. Nais ko lang ipabatid na nagkaroon tayo ng transition from the first tranche na kung saan inatasan natin, nanghingi tayo ng tulong sa lokal na pamahaalan para sila ang mamahagi ng ayuda. Kung titingnan po natin, in terms of workforce, personnel, ay talagang marami ang personnel na maaring gamitin ng ating lokal na pamahalaan,” he said in a virtual press briefing, a day after Malacañang found the SAP 2 payout to be “very slow” and was counting on the DSWD to finish the SAP 2 distribution by the end of the month.
(We admitted that there have been challenges in the implementation of the second tranche of SAP. We would like to inform that we had transition from the first tranche wherein we tasked, we asked the assistance of the local government units to distribute the cash aid. If we look at it, in terms of workforce, personnel, the local government can possibly tap many personnel.)
In the second tranche, DSWD leads the distribution of the aid, with the adoption of innovative solutions through the help of our financial service providers, Bautista said.
However, he said the adoption of the DSWD to this new innovation is not that fast. Nevertheless, the agency is trying to expeditiously distribute the second tranche of SAP, he assured.
Last June 30, the DSWD signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) and six FSPs identified by the Bangko Sentral Pilipinas (BSP)– GCash, RCBC, Robinsons Bank, PayMaya, Starpay, and Unionbank for the digital payment of SAP 2 aid.
Bautista said for those geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDAs), conflict-affected areas, and those areas where FSPs do not have payout partners, the distribution of the financial assistance will be completed “not beyond” August 15.
He noted that based on the DSWD’s July 20 SAP monitoring data, the DSWD has distributed P24.4 billion worth of emergency cash aid to over 3.5 million families or 20.5 percent of the 17 million beneficiaries targeted by the program.
Among those who already received the SAP 2 grants are 1.3 million beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), 1.1 million non-4Ps households and over 1.1 million “waitlisted” beneficiaries.
Bautista appealed to the public to continuously have faith in the government amid the delayed distribution of SAP.
The 11 areas covered by the SAP 2 distribution are Benguet; Pangasinan; Region III (except Aurora Province); National Capital Region (NCR); Region IV-A (CALABARZON); Albay Province; Iloilo; Bacolod City; Cebu Province; Zamboanga City; and Davao City.