DSWD seeks to release second tranche of cash aid this week

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The Department of Social Welfare and Development said it hopes to distribute the second round of cash aid by this week though validation of the first batch of beneficiaries is still ongoing. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 2) — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said it hopes to distribute the second round of cash aid by this week though validation of the first batch of beneficiaries is still ongoing.

"Ninanais natin na simulan ang pamamahagi ng ayuda sa linggong ito ngunit gusto nating bigyang diin na napakahalaga ang ating ginagawang validation process," said DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista in an online press briefing on Tuesday.

[Translation: We hope to start giving the aid this week but we would like to emphasize the importance of our validation process.]

The department earlier stressed that it wants to check the list of recipients of the first tranche or those who got aid from other agencies to ensure that they will not benefit again from the second tranche. Bautista said 70 percent of liquidation has been completed after 807 local government units submitted their reports, while 357 are still pending.

But the guidelines for the distribution of the second tranche is already complete, he assured, adding that families from Central Luzon (except Aurora province), Metro Manila, Calabarzon, Benguet, Pangasinan, Iloilo, Cebu, Bacolod, Davao, Albay and Zamboanga City will be getting the subsidy.

Senator Sonny Angara in a Senate hearing said the Bayanihan Law 2 which is still being tackled, will cover the second tranche.

"I think it’s just to complete initial SAP provision...Those who haven’t received the second round, it will just be completed," he said.

About 13.5 million families will benefit from the second tranche, the DSWD added in a separate post, including five million families labelled as "waitlisted" or "additional" beneficiaries of the first tranche.

The first tranche of the government's Social Amelioration Program (SAP) initially covered 18 million low-income households, who were expected to receive ₱5,000 to ₱8,000 worth of assistance. Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque later revealed that an additional five million beneficiaries left out of the LGUs' lists would be included in the first batch of subsidy. Bautista said 17.6 million families in the country have already received their share amounting to ₱99.7 billion.

He added that LGUs have already sent the names of waitlisted families but raised that some of the lists do not have proper certification.

"Ang master list ng waitlisted na naglalaman ng social amelioration card identification number ay kailangan mapirmahan at masertipikahan ng city, municipal, provincial, social welfare and development officer at lokal na pinunong ehekutibo o alkalde ng bayan," Bautista said.

[Translation: The master list of waitlisted with their social amelioration card identification number must be signed and certified by city, municipal, provincial, social welfare and development officer and the local chief executive.]

After submission, the list will still undergo deduplication, he added.

The DSWD chief also expressed hope to speed up distribution and complete it within the month as the department explores digital platforms such as the Relief Agad app, where residents can submit online the information on their SAP cards and forms.

PayMaya Philippines, Inc. said beneficiaries can also use its mobile wallets to receive the aid.

"We support DSWD and the rest of the government’s efforts to digitize citizen disbursements,” said PayMaya founder and CEO Orlando Vea in a statement.