DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista
MANILA – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is seeking a “change of purpose” to utilize the remaining PHP10-billion fund from the government’s social amelioration program (SAP) for livelihood aid grant.
“We have met with economic managers and presented the status of the SAP 1 and 2 implementations. They advised that we request a change of purpose so we can use the unutilized fund for the Livelihood Assistance Grant which is part of the recovery phase of SAP,” DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista said Thursday.
SAP, he said, primarily aims to support low-income families whose sources of income were affected when the pandemic broke out.
Bautista also clarified that they never declared any “savings” in contrast to other reports.
“Wala po tayong idineklara na savings, dahil patuloy pa po ang SAP distribution. Meron pong available funds na hindi magagamit para sa emergency subsidy dahil nagkaroon ng kabawasan (We did not declare any ‘savings’ because the distribution of SAP is still ongoing. We have available funds which we cannot use for the emergency subsidy because we previously had it trimmed),” he said.
In May, President Rodrigo Duterte said five million more low-income families will receive the SAP grant for the second tranche of distribution.
However, the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has clarified that only residents of areas placed under enhanced community quarantine will be given aid.
“Upang maisakatuparan, nagre-calibrate ang DSWD ng beneficiaries (To fulfill this, the DSWD recalibrated its beneficiaries),” Bautista explained.
DSWD spokesperson Irene Dumlao stated in a Viber message to the Philippine News Agency that they had to recalibrate the list because they need to accommodate the waitlisted beneficiaries who were not included during the first tranche of SAP.
“We also adhered to the EO 112 and the memorandum of Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea identifying the areas covered by SAP 2,” she said.
As stated in the Executive Order 112, areas covered by SAP 2 include Region III (Central Luzon) except Aurora province, the NCR, Region IV-A (Calabarzon), Benguet province, Pangasinan, Iloilo, Cebu province, Bacolod City, Davao City, Albay province and Zamboanga City.
Bautista also reiterated the agency’s undertaking of validation and revalidation processes to assess the list from “ineligible” and “duplicate” beneficiaries.
During this phase, the agency found that some 200,000 beneficiaries were ineligible or unqualified to receive the aid and some 1.1 million are duplicates or beneficiaries who are also receiving financial aid from other government offices.
For the five million additional beneficiaries ordered by the President, the local government units only submitted 3.3 million families, including 2.1 million from areas placed under ECQ.
“Ang naging resulta nito ay ang kabawasan ng mga benepisyaryo sa pagkakaroon ng projected, unutilized funds (This resulted in the trimmed-down number of our beneficiaries. Thus, we have this projected, unutilized fund),” he added.
On Wednesday, the Senate asked the agency over the PHP10-billion fund that was not exhausted as dole out to the poor. (PNA)