PHP2.8-B social amelioration funds wired to 45 of 50 LGUs in Region 12

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 20 April) — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has transferred at least PHP2.8 billion to local government units (LGUs) in Region 12 (Soccsksargen) in line with the implementation of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP).

Cezario Joel Espejo, DSWD-12 director, said the released funds represent about 80 percent of the PHP3.5 billion allotted for the region under the first wave of the emergency financial assistance program.

He said these were wired directly as of Saturday to 45 of the 50 municipalities and cities in the region that already completed the requirements for its rollout.

“The payouts for the release of emergency assistance to qualified beneficiaries are ongoing,” he said in a statement.

DSWD-12 has targeted a total of 668,287 households in the region as beneficiaries of the PHP5,000 cash assistance.

These are poor and marginalized families who were affected by the ongoing enhanced community quarantine in the wake of the 2019 coronavirus disease or COVID-19 threat. The quarantine period will end on April 30.

The agency earlier said it released some PHP3,650 each to around 246,000 beneficiaries in the region of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps, under the SAP.

Espejo said they expect to complete in the next few days the transfer of the funds and the release of the LGUs of the financial assistance to qualified recipients.

Once the payouts are complete, he said the agency will immediately start the preparations for the second wave, which will cover the month of May.

He assured that they have implemented measures to ensure that “only the rightful beneficiaries affected by the enhanced community quarantine” will receive the financial assistance.

The official said composite teams comprising representatives from their partner national government agencies and LGUs have been deployed to monitor the distribution of the emergency subsidy.

Members of the monitoring teams are from the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Finance, Department of Labor and Employment, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Bureau of Fire Protection.

Espejo confirmed that the teams already discovered a number of non-eligible recipients upon their validation.

“The names of the non-qualified residents were immediately removed from the payroll,” he said.

“This is a good indication that everybody is working to make sure that the assistance will go to rightful recipients,” he added.