DSWD probes social amelioration aid anomaly in Isabela town
CABATUAN, Isabela –– The Department of Social Welfare and Development has deployed a team to investigate reports that cash grants from the social amelioration program (SAP) were broken up to benefit more people in this town.
Some villagers here complained that they received half of their P5,500 allocations because barangay officials decided to divide the money so it could be shared with other residents who were not in DSWD’s list of beneficiaries.
Cabatuan town has P80 million allotted for 7,282 families, but the town has over 13,000 households, which are indigent, or who have family members classified as highly vulnerable to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The SAP was designed to augment the resources of poor households sequestered at their homes due to a Luzon-wide quarantine.
“The omnibus guidelines are clear. The assistance should be for identified and qualified beneficiaries. The P5,500 should be given in full to the qualified beneficiary, not shared with others. If there is deviation [to the rules] like the money was given to unqualified beneficiaries, the local government may face criminal, civil, or administrative charges,” said Chester Trinidad, regional information officer of the DSWD Cagayan Valley office.
He urged aggrieved villagers to report the misdemeanor, guaranteeing that the regional office would keep their identities confidential.
The second wave of SAP cash assistance would still be subject to liquidation and verification if the recipients are qualified, Trinidad said.
Mayor Charlton Uy denied ordering village officials to divide the cash grants and has launched his investigation.
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