Duterte won't tolerate corruption in SAP2 distribution

Malacañang assured the public that President Duterte will not tolerate any form of corruption, especially in the distribution of the second tranche of the social amelioration program (SAP2) for the poor households amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles made the statement as complaints rise about the slow progress in the distribution of SAP2.

In an interview with Super Radyo DZBB on Saturday, Nograles said President Duterte will be sure to make a move in case there is corruption in the distribution of the cash aid.

"Kung meron mang mga nangyaring pang-a-abuso ay siyempre hindi naman papayag si Pangulo na hindi mabibigyan ng kaukulang hustisya (The President will not allow anybody to abuse the funds)," he said.

"Alam naman natin na galit si Pangulo sa mga ganyang bagay (We know that the President hates corruption)," he added.

According to Nograles, every anomaly surrounding the distribution of the SAP2 by the local government units (LGUs) are being investigated by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

"Lahat naman po 'yan, especially sa pamamahagi ng local government units, kahit sa barangay, ay ini-investigate ng DILG at na-flle-an na rin po ng kaso ng DILG (Everything, especially the distribution of LGUs, even in barangays, is being investigated by the DILG and the DILG is filing cases against them)," he said.

Last month, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said 663 local officials, government employees, and civilian accomplices were subjected to investigation for the anomalous distribution of the cash aid. Of the said figure, 397 were already charged by the DILG.

On Monday, Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said Malacañang will hold the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to its commitment to complete the distribution of SAP2 by the end of July because even the Palace thought it was very slow.

“Mabagal po talaga (It’s really slow),” he said.

“Masasabi ko po na nabagalan din ang Palasyo sa proseso ng pangalawang tranche (I can say that even the Palace thinks the distribution of the second tranche of the SAP is slow),” he added.

"Maraming dahilan po ang sinasabi ng DSWD pero tinatanggap po namin ang declaration ng DSWD na hindi matatapos ang July na hindi maibibigay ang kabuuan ng ayuda (The DSWD has a lot of reasons by we accept their declaration that the month of July will not end without all beneficiaries being paid)," he continued.

The DSWD admitted on Tuesday that it encountered “challenges” in the distribution of the emergency cash aid, particularly its transition from manual to digital payout.

Malacañang said last month that the DSWD was taking a long time to distribute the cash aid because of the verification of beneficiaries after they found duplicates in their list.

DSWD's July 20 monitoring data showed that the agency 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.