DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 19 April) – Local Governments Secretary Eduardo Año has directed barangay chairs to post the list of beneficiaries of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) in conspicuous places in their barangay to ensure transparency.
Among these conspicuous public places are the barangay hall, city/municipal hall, social center, gymnasium, auditorium, transport terminal, public market, health station or center, hospital, and other similar public places.
“We want the process of identifying the target beneficiaries under the SAP to be transparent. Hence, we have directed all our punong barangays to post the masterlist of beneficiaries in strategic areas in their barangays so that the residents will also be informed if they will receive the said financial assistance from the government,” Año said,
SAP is a cash emergency subsidy program for 18 million Filipino families whose lives are greatly affected by the lockdown due to COVID-19 and is mandated by the new law, the Bayanihan To Heal As One Act, which was signed by the President on March 25.
SAP beneficiaries, according to the Joint Memorandum Circular No. 1 of the implementing agencies, get cash emergency subsidies ranging from 5,000 to 8,000 pesos a month for two months, the amount based on the daily minimum wage in the regions and takes into account the other subsidy programs in cash or in-kind, under the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
In Mindanao, the cash emergency subsidy in Regions 9 (Zamboanga), 12 (Soccsksargen), Caraga and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) is 5,000 pesos while those in Regions 10 and 11 is 6,000 pesos.
Año issued the statement after receiving reports from field offices on the lack of transparency in the distribution of SAC (Social Amelioration cards) forms and assistance to target beneficiaries.
He said it is important to post the list so the residents will understand that the poorest of the poor should be prioritized. Posting the list, he added, would also allow residents to give barangay officials feedback if they believe they should be part of the list.
Ano said the posting of the list also ensures that the barangay’s listing of the targeted beneficiaries is complete and correct. If there are mistakes or the list does not include people who should be on that list, this can be acted upon by the city or municipal government or reported to the DSWD, he said.
He said the DSWD had earlier given assurance that local government units may request for additional funding for those who were not included in the first tranche of SAP financial assistance released earlier this month.
The target beneficiaries of SAP are “families that belong to either the poor or informal sector which are at risk of not earning a living during the Enhanced Community Quarantine, who may have at least one member belonging to any of the following vulnerable or disadvantaged sectors:
- Senior citizens
- Persons with disability
- Pregnant and lactating women
- Solo parents
- Overseas Filipinos in Distress or those who were repatriated or banned from travelling outside the Philippines on account of the covid-19 breakout, from January 2020 until the lifting of the community quarantine
- Indigent Indigenous Peoples or those certified as poor by the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction or the subject Field Office of the DSWD or those who are living in recognized ancestral domains whose income solely depend on subsistence economy as those engaged in indigenous means of livelihood as hunting, gathering or foraging as certified by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples or tribal chieftain/council of elders or those who are informal economy workers
- Underprivileged Sector and Homeless Citizens or individuals or families residing in urban, urbanizable and rural areas whose income or combined family income falls within the poverty threshold as defined by the National Economic and Development Authority or those who do not own housing facilities. This shall also include those who live in makeshift dwelling units and do not enjoy security of tenure
- Informal Economy Workers or those who are independent, self-employed, small-scale producers and distributors of goods and services like the following
- Will the list of SAP beneficiaries be posted on social media, MindaNews asked on Sunday. The DILG’s Information and Communication Research Division replied: “Minimum requirement is for them to post in three conspicuous places within the barangay. Barangay officials may opt to post on socmed or residents may take a picture of the list and post on soc med,” it said. (MindaNews)