DSWD explains why millions of families didn’t get their 2nd tranche of SAP

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The Social Welfare Department on Tuesday explained why millions of families haven’t received their second tranche of the Social Amelioration Program. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 22) — The Social Welfare Department on Tuesday explained why millions of families haven’t received their second tranche of the Social Amelioration Program.

Called SAP for short, the government’s cash aid is for the country’s 18 million poorest families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and community quarantines.

Social Welfare Secretary Rolando Bautista reported during the agency’s budget hearing at the Senate that 3.79 million families have not gotten their SAP.

DSWD has released ₱99.91 billion to 17.69 million families during SAP’s first tranche from April to June. Each family received at least ₱5,000 up to ₱8,000.

On the second tranche, however, only 13.90 million families received monetary aid amounting to ₱83.05 billion, or ₱16.86 billion less than the first tranche.

Senator Ralph Recto reminded them that they are mandated to give the aid to 18 million families in two tranches under the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act.

Mayroong four million families na nakatanggap [ng] isang SAP lang. And you know, the SAP 2 is even more important dahil ‘yung [nakatanggap ng] SAP 1, nawalan na ng trabaho. SAP 2 continuing din ‘yun, walang trabaho iyang mga ‘yan,” the Senate president pro tempore said.

[Translation: there are four million families which received one SAP only. And as you know the SAP 2 is even more important because those who received SAP 1 lost their jobs. SAP 2 is contnuation of that, those people lost their jobs].

DSWD Undersecretary Danilo Famonag said local governments units nationwide have submitted to them over four million less names than the first tranche.

Famonag added that out of the supposed 8.5 million “wait-listed” family beneficiaries, the LGUs only gave them 5.1 million names for the second tranche of SAP.

He also said that the DSWD has already given several deadline extensions for the LGU officials to submit the complete list of names of beneficiaries but to no avail.

“We would’ve wanted to give the SAP to all the 18 million [families]. However, the LGUs have just submitted 14 million [names],” Famonag said in response to Recto’s queries.

Bautista, meanwhile, said some beneficiaries were no longer included in the SAP 2 since they were given cash aid twice during the SAP 1.

The retired general added other beneficiaries have also received emergency subsidies from the Departments of Labor and Employment and Agriculture.

“What we did was those who are identified as ‘double compensation’, apparently we did not include them on the second tranche,” Bautista told lawmakers.

The remaining funds for the supposed SAP 2 beneficiaries, he said, will be re-allocated to their livelihood assistance fund for 664,726 household beneficiaries.

Each family who has a member working in the informal sector as a vendor will receive ₱15,000 to restart their livelihood amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The social welfare secretary explained that the Office of the President and the Inter-Agency Task Force told them to do so that they can use the remaining funds.

Some senators, meanwhile, told them to distribute the funds to more beneficiaries since they’ve been getting a lot of complaints on the ground.

Senator Nancy Binay said she is wondering why the DSWD was able to save over ₱10 billion when she thought the SAP funds aren’t enough to cover all families.

Binay recalled many LGUs were complaining that the funds given to them could only provide for six out of ten families during the Bayanihan One Act hearings.

Parang hindi ko maintindihan kung bakit nagkaroon ng savings na ₱10 billion eh parang kulang na kulang. In fact, ‘yung mga jeepney drivers natin na na-displace, hanggang ngayon nagrereklamo na wala pa silang natatanggap,” Binay added.

[Translation: I cannot understand why there is a savings of P10 billion when it seems there is shortage of funds. In fact, our displaced jeepney drivers up to now are complaining that they have not received (aid)]

Senate Finance Committee Vice Chair Imee Marcos, meanwhile, told DSWD officials to submit more detailed breakdowns of their SAP disbursement for their next hearing.