More cops to be deployed in areas where SAP cash aids will be distributed manually -- DILG

Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año  on Friday said that additional police officers will be deployed in areas where social amelioration program (SAP) cash aids will be distributed manually.

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año
DILG Secretary Eduardo Año

In a text message, Año explained that this is to ensure that no SAP-related “anomaly or corruption’’ occurs during the manual distribution.

He added that police officers will also see to it that quarantine protocols are strictly observed during the face-to-face monetary assistance disbursement to qualified beneficiaries.

The DILG chief emphasized that “manual distribution for those recipients who don’t have bank accounts and smart phones is allowed provided that strict health protocols shall be adhered to and implemented by the LGU (local government unit) and DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) officials.’’

In view of mounting complaints of corruption in SAP-related disbursement, the government has resorted to the electronic process of cash assistance distribution in a bid to minimize irregularities and maintain social distancing in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Sept. 12, the DILG reported that 89 barangay captains in the country were placed on six-month preventive suspension by the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB) for their alleged involvement in the first tranche SAP distribution.

During their suspension, Año said that the 89 barangay captains are “not entitled to any salary or allowance or honorarium."

He added that the concerned LGUs must implement the resolution since it is “mandatory." 

“Failure to do so is considered as insubordination,’’ he added.

The DSWD had earlier noted that the second tranche of the SAP aid distribution in Quezon City will be implemented manually as the agency had difficulty reaching out to many recipients due to lack of contact details needed for the electronic payout.