Leaving a Legacy by C. de los Angeles


The SAP is financial aid provided by the Philippine Government to more than 18 million families affected by COVID-19 restrictions.

Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte signed the Bayanihan to Heal as One act into law on March 25, 2020.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), is the government agency primarily responsible for the distribution of the SAP to eligible Filipino families.

Other government agencies involved are:

  • Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)Department of Agriculture (DA)Department of Finance (DOF)Department of Budget and Management (DBM), and Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).


SAP payments were distributed to families, not to individual applicants. Depending on a number of factors, eligible Filipino families could have received up to PhP8,000.00 a month for two months under the SAP.

Maximum amounts varied by region, for example:

  • National Capital Region (NCR) – PhP8,000.00
  • Region IV-A (CALABARZON) – PhP6,500.00
  • Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) – PhP5,500.00
  • Region V – PhP5,000.00


According to DSWD Sec. Rolando Bautista SAP has a total budget of 207.6 Billion Pesos

  • 197 Billion Pesos fund the Department of Budget and Management. 
  • 10.6 Billion Pesos Realigned budget from DSWD
  • Total number of target beneficiaries – Original was 17 Million Low-income families but then trimmed down 14.1 Million families (after taking into account those that were found as duplicates or beneficiaries of other cash aid programs of the government, those that turned out to be unqualified to receive the subsidy, and those who voluntarily returned their cash aid.)


In order to release the cash aids under Social Amelioration Program 2 (SAP2)  the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) implemented digital distribution.

The Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) worked with six (6) financial service providers (FSP) to administer the electronic payment and distribution of emergency subsidies to entitled SAP beneficiaries.

The move is a result of a memorandum of agreement signed on June 30, 2020 at the DSWD Central Office in Batasan, Quezon City by DSWD Secretary Rolando Joselito D. Bautista and LANDBANK President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo and representatives of the six FSPs – G-Xchange, Inc. Vice President for Enterprise Business Group Jose Luis G. Reyes;  PayMaya Philippines Inc. CEO Orlando B. Vea; Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation President and CEO Eugene S. Acevedo; Robinsons Bank Corporation President and CEO Elfren Antonio S. Sarte; Starpay Corporation President Lamberto Scarella; and Union Bank of the Philippines President and CEO Edwin R. Bautista.


Per SEC records and online news sites, Starpay is owned by the same owners of STARMobile. Starmobile are locally branded Chinese made cellphones.

Based on papers we secured from the SEC the following are the real owners of Starpay: Joey Uy, Ulysses T. Lao, Armando N. Cajayon Jr., Lamberto P. Scarella, and Philip W. Co.

NOT DENNIS UY which was falsely claimed by some media outlets.

In February 2018, Starpay Corp. was one of the 3 new accredited Electronic-Money Issuers (EMIs) of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas alongside with Coins.ph and Wisecard E-Money.

July 2020 – The Department has already pre-funded or transferred funds for the SAP of more than 4.8 million beneficiaries to its bank accounts and mother wallet accounts maintained by its partner FSPs. The number includes 1,286,551 families who will receive their subsidy from GCash; 337,768 from Paymaya; 682,639 from RCBC; 99,745 from Robinsons Bank; 1,890,263 from Starpay; and 537,668 from Unionbank. Some 50,459 will receive their SAP from Landbank of the Philippines.

NOTE this is only the first tranche. STARPAY received an allocation for 1,890,263 beneficiaries. This is bigger than the other available and more established apps and commercial banks.

Understanding the number

During the virtual press conference of Manny Pacquiao there were several numbers that were mentioned which are:

50 Billion went to an unknown E-wallet

1.8 million INITIAL beneficiaries 

500,000 downloads of starpay app on google store

10B missing

Manny Pacquiao narrated that he is has info that a total of 50 B was assigned to this unknown E-wallet, Star Pay. 

In a DSWD Press release on July 2020 where they announced the 6 partner (FSPs) or digital wallets which included STARPAY they release the PREFUNDED amount of money for 1.8M beneficiaries. 

If only 500,000 downloaded the app, even for the initial beneficiaries of 1.8 million people (this is only initial and there were succeeding batches after) starpay lacked the number of downloads.

1.8 million initial beneficiaries less 500,000 downloads there is 1.3 million beneficiaries who you wonder how they received their ayuda.

 Remember this:

Maximum amounts varied by region, for example:

  • National Capital Region (NCR) – PhP8,000.00
  • Region IV-A (CALABARZON) – PhP6,500.00
  • Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) – PhP5,500.00
  • Region V – PhP5,000.00

Logic dictates that they used 8,000 as a basis and for quick computation because if you multiply 1.3 million beneficiary by 8,000 pesos it matches the 10 B missing as mentioned by Senator Manny Pacquiao.

Right now the exact numbers are not of any significance. FACT is there are BILLIONS missing.The question is where the money went and who profited from this.

Anyway, that is it for now. More to come.

One thought on “DSWD SAP SCAM: STARPAY (Part 1)

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