By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — How could the Department of Social Welfare and Development claim a
94 percent physical accomplishment of its distribution of Social
Amelioration Program (SAP) funds when it has disbursed only 80
percent of the funds?
Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson raised this question Monday as he interpolated
the DSWD on its proposed P191.4-billion budget for 2022.
“Something doesn’t add up. The DSWD’s latest data showed that the
agency was able to distribute SAP to 717,372 out of 761,259 target
beneficiary families. That would constitute a 94.23-percent
accomplishment as of Aug. 31, 2021,” Lacson said.
Yet, according to the same report, the senator emphasized that the
DSWD has disbursed just about 80 percent of the funds for the SAP.
DSWD’s Hannah Carcido explained the DSWD adjusted its targets, adding
that the potential target as of January 2021 was 855, 597
beneficiaries instead of 717,372.
Meanwhile, Lacson urged the DSWD to learn from its “poor planning”
that prompted them to engage Starpay, after they found 70 percent of
SAP beneficiaries had no or defective mobile phones.
“The DSWD became reactive. It did not determine the beneficiaries’
capability to use mobile phones before distributing the aid, so it had
to engage financial service providers. It should have planned first
and determined the capability of the beneficiaries to receive aid via
mobile phones. The bottom line is poor planning,” he said.
On the other hand, Lacson said the local government units ran into
problems distributing the SAP after complaints were lodged against
them for not distributing the SAP based on the DSWD’s data – which
turned out to be outdated, dating back to 2015.
“Some barangay chairmen agreed among themselves to just redistribute
the P5,000 to P8,000 accordingly because the list provided by the DSWD
central office was outdated,” Lacson said.
“They wanted to adapt to the situation on the ground. We cannot fault
the LGUs,” he added. (ai/mtvn)