Pacquiao wants to hold DSWD 2022 budget until SAP status fully explained: ‘May kumita ng P200M sa ayuda’

Pacquiao wants to hold DSWD 2022 budget until SAP status fully explained: ‘May kumita ng P200M sa ayuda’

By Ernie Reyes

MANILA – Senator Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao questioned the Department
of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) regarding the status of the
distribution of Special Amelioration Program (SAP) which was coursed
through a private financial service provider.

In the deliberation of the P191.4 billion budget of DSWD, Pacquiao
said that he will move to hold the approval of the 2022 allocation if
the agency failed to satisfactorily explain how they distributed the
‘ayuda” under Bayanihan 1 and 2.

“Nakakadismaya ang mga natanggap kong sagot mula sa DSWD tungkol sa
status ng Social Amelioration Program. Paano natin aaprubahan ang
kanilang hinihinging na P191.4 bilyon pesos para sa kanilang 2022 budget
kung hindi nila masakot ng maayos kung magkano ang allocation sa mga
financial service provider (FSP) at Electronic Money Issuers (EMI) sa
SAP-1 at SAP-2,” Pacquiao said.

Pacquiao lamented that DSWD failed to explain why the agency
favored an undercapitalized company, Starpay for the distribution of
multi-billion Ayuda to families directly affected by lockdown last
year.

“Hanggang ngayon, hindi pa rin malinaw kung bakit Starpay ang
pinaburan. Out of the 14 million beneficiaries for SAP-2,” he said.

The senator learned that more than P50 billion out of P85.1B funds
were given to StarPay to distribute “Ayuda” to 6.5 million
beneficiaries, or more than 60 percent of allocated for SAP.

“Ang ipinagkatiwala pong ayuda sa Starpay ay para sa 6.9 Million
beneficiaries. Sa 85.1 Billion pesos na pondo, ipinagkatiwala ng DSWD
sa StarPay ang halos 60 porsiyentong pondo o mahigit 50 Billion
pesos,” Pacquiao said.

“Ang natirang 40 porsyento ay pinaghatian ng limang FSP’s at EMI na di
hamak na mas malaki pa kaysa Starpay,” he added.

Pacquaio said that based on the financial records of StarPay from the
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the company has P70,000
sales in 2019 and jumped toP113 million in 2022.

“From losing P26 million in 2019, kumita daw sila ng P20 million
pesos sa 2020,” he said.

“At pinakamasaklap diyan, base sa financial records ng StarPay sa SEC,
nagkaroon sila bigla ng P11 billion in cash noong December 2020
kumpara sa P5 million lang noong 2019,” he added.

“Sa P11 billion na cash, P10 billion pala nito ang pera para sa ayuda,
na hindi agad ipinamigay sa mga kababayan natin at pinatulog muna sa
kanilang account upang kumitang interest,” Pacquiao further said.

He said that StarPay deposited the fund in their bank account, a
private bank, not in government banks as mandated by law like DBP and
Land Bank , from July 2020 to April 2021.

“According to my reliable source, kumita ng P200 million pesos na
interest ang StarPay mula sa account nila sa private bank,” he said.

“Ang isyu dito, ginutom ang maraming pamilyang naghihintay ng ayuda sa
loob ng sampung buwan pero ang pondo ng bayan, pinatulog sa pribadong
bangko at pina-interesan,” Pacquiao stressed.

Pacquiao also questioned the P50 to P100 transaction fees being
collected for every beneficiary of SAP which was coursed through
StarPay, Western Union, and MLhullier.

“May iba pa ngang reports na nasa 100 pesos hanggang 150 pesos ang
deduction kapag sila ay nag-cash out. Magkano ang kinita ng StarPay,
Western Union, at MLhuiller mula sa kaltas?,” he said.

“Responsibilidad natin na protektahan ang kapakanan ng ating mga kababayan.
Karapatan nating magtanong kung saan napunta ang pera ng bayan.
Karapatan nating malaman kung ano ang hiwaga sa ayuda,” he said.

“Corruption should never go unpunished,” he ended. (ai/mtvn)

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