DSWD ready to implement SAP 3 if there is a law mandating it

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is ready to implement a third wave of Social Amelioration Program (SAP) should there be a law providing for such, in the wake of President Duterte's declaration of modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) in certain areas.

"DSWD,  as lead in social protection,  implements legislations on social welfare and development. If the Congress passes a law providing for a third tranche, then we will implement,” DSWD spokesperson Irene Dumlao told reporters in a Viber message. 

She made the statement, after  Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said Malacañang is leaving it up to Congress to decide whether or not the SAP 3 will be extended to residents of MECQ areas.

President Duterte has decided to revert the National Capital Region, Bulacan, Laguna, Cavite and Rizal to  a modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) from August 4 to 18, 2020,  following the continued rise in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases.

House Ways and Means Chair and Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda said the House of Representatives will push for the inclusion of the SAP 3 in the “Bayanihan to Recover As One” or Bayanihan 2.

“The House will fight for it,’ he said in a Viber message, a day after Roque said that the third wave of cash aid may be included in the Bayanihan 2, which is a common legislative priority of both the Executive and the Legislative. 

Salceda had urged President Duterte’s economic managers to “give the green light” on a third tranche of the SAP, as the number of unemployed people is expected to increase.

“If we have a good Bayanihan 2, there will still be at least 3.3 million households who will lose at least one household earner. If we have an inadequate one, it will be 4.2 million households,” Salceda said in a statement issued on July 31.

“As representatives of the people, we are duty-bound to address, or at the very least manifest, the needs of our constituents. As months of interrupted work, school, and business have passed, we members of Congress have heard plea after plea from our people seeking help on their most basic needs – from food for their families, to medicine for their elderly, and milk for their infants,” he added. 

Salceda estimated that 3.3 million households, one month of subsidies would be around P21.4 billion, while for 4.2 million, the government would need  P27.3 billion.

"I am studying how to finance this immediate need, and will work with my colleagues in the Committee on Ways and Means to figure out how we can ensure the long-term fiscal sustainability of this government without denying or wishing away our short-term needs,”  he said.