Photo courtesy of DSWD
MANILA – Halfway through the month of August, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has delivered PHP76.2 billion worth of Social Amelioration Program (SAP) assistance to Filipino families who were most affected by the public health crisis.
On Monday, the agency updated online that they have provided financial assistance to 12,757,732 family beneficiaries as of 12 noon of August 17.
DSWD Secretary Rolando Joselito Bautista previously announced that they are eyeing to complete the distribution by the middle of this month or August 15.
However, Undersecretary Glen Paje explained later on that President Rodrigo Duterte’s move to revert some cities and provinces to modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) may cause further delay to the distribution.
“Sinisikap pa rin ng DSWD na mabigyan ng ayuda ang ating mga kababayan sa kasalukuyang buwan. Humihingi lang tayo ng dagdag na pagunawa sa ating mga kababayan (DSWD is still working toward distributing aid to our countrymen this month. We are appealing for more understanding),” Paje said through the agency’s virtual conference on August 3.
The officials have already enumerated reasons for the delays, including difficulty in reaching far-flung communities and restriction on mobility after a significant number of their personnel have tested positive of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) while others were forced to self-quarantine.
It was also said that from the initial 17 million projected number of family beneficiaries, the agency has trimmed it down to only 14.1 million families after several validation processes.
Some of the identified beneficiaries have also voluntarily returned or waived their rights to accept the emergency subsidy.
The officials will provide the public with details and explanation on Tuesday’s uSAP Tayo virtual conference, DSWD’s bi-weekly program sharing updates and developments of the SAP distribution.
The “Bayanihan to Heal As One” Act has given the national government powers to provide emergency subsidy to low-income families.
Joint Memorandum Circular No. 1 of 2020 stated that the subsidy shall amount to a minimum of PHP5,000 to a maximum of PHP8,000 a month for two months to provide for basic food, medicine, and toiletries. (PNA)