DSWD-12 releases P1.9 billion to LGUs for households affected by COVID-19 quarantine

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 15 April) – The Department of Social Welfare Development (DSWD) has already released around P1.9 billion to local government units (LGUs) in Region 12 or Soccsksargen for the emergency financial assistance to households affected by the ongoing heightened quarantine due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) threat.

Cezario Joel Espejo, DSWD-Region 12 director, said Wednesday the funds were received by 30 municipalities and cities that have so far complied with the requirements for the implementation of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP).

He said the assessment is currently ongoing for the beneficiary list and other documentary requirements submitted by the 20 other localities in the region.

“This process is continuing and we have a composite team in the field doing the validation and monitoring,” he said in a regional virtual press briefing hosted by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Espejo said they are currently looking into various modes of payouts for the P5,000 SAP assistance to make sure that they follow the safety protocols on COVID-19, especially the physical and social distancing.

He said they already released last week the emergency assistance to beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps through their cash cards.

In this city, which has around 100,000 qualified household-beneficiaries, he said they are considering making the payout by clusters.

The official appealed for understanding from the target beneficiaries regarding the payout system, noting that their movements were also affected by the ongoing enhanced community quarantine in the entire region.

The national government has allotted around P4 billion for the rollout of the SAP in the entire Soccsksargen, which is under enhanced community quarantine until April 30 due to the increasing confirmed cases of COVID-19.

DSWD-12 has targeted a total of 953,853 households, including 246,000 enlisted with the 4Ps, as recipients.

Espejo acknowledged that there were affected households “left out” in the current list of beneficiaries and they are already addressing it in coordination with the DILG and the LGUs.

He said they have asked the LGUs to provide with the list of households that are also in dire need of government assistance.

The official said they will validate the list with their Listahanan or the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction database and then request for additional assistance from their central office.

“Rest assured that we are doing our best to serve all those affected by this crisis and needing assistance,” he added. (MindaNews)