Malacañang on Monday said concerned agencies may now start distributing the second tranche of cash assistance under the national government’s Social Amelioration Program (SAP).
“Na-issue na po nung Biyernes yung memorandum ng Office of the Executive Secretary na puwede na pong ipamahagi yung second tranche ng SAP (The Office of the Executive Secretary issued a memorandum on Friday that the second tranche of SAP can now be distributed)” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a Laging Handa public briefing.
Roque was referring to the memorandum order for the inclusion of 5 million additional poor families on the list of beneficiaries of the second tranche besides the original beneficiaries.
The memorandum states that the 5 million families will join the 12 million other households under the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
AICS program, one of the 13 social amelioration packages under SAP, allows beneficiaries to receive an outright cash grant of either PHP3,000 or PHP5,000 and PHP25,000 burial assistance in case a member of a family dies due to coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Around 17 million low-income families will benefit from the implementation of the second phase of SAP.
“Kasama na po diyan yung limang milyong mga bagong pangalan na bibigyan po ng ayuda at yung 12 million na dati nang nakakuha po ng ayuda during the first batch (The 5 million new names that will be given cash aid are already included as well as the 12 million who already received cash aid from the first batch),” Roque said.
Before the additional 5 million families, the original number of low-income household beneficiaries under first tranche was 18 million.
However, the second tranche of SAP was limited to families living in areas under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and modified ECQ due to lack of funds.
President Rodrigo Duterte has directed Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado to look for more funds to expand the number of beneficiaries of the second tranche.
Roque, meanwhile, expressed hope that the distribution of the SAP’s second tranche would be faster after the launch of the automated disbursement of cash aid and now that the police and the military are tapped to assist the DSWD in distributing the SAP.
“Dapat po patuloy na po ang proseso, umuusad na, ang pagkakaiba po e gagamitan namin ng electronic ways para magbayad dun sa ating mga kababayan at tutulong na po ang hukbong sandatahan sa pagdi-distribute ng ayuda (The process should continue, the only difference now is we are using electronic ways to give cash aid to citizens and the Armed Forces will help distribute the assistance),” he said.
He said concerned agencies would find it easier now that the names of the families have already been determined previously.
“Naniniwala naman po kami na mas mabilis na yung proseso dahil dun sa 12 million ay parehong mga pangalan naman po ‘yan (I believe that the process will be faster because the names of the 12 million beneficiaries are the same names listed on the first tranche),” he said. (By Azer Parrocha, PNA)