4 million more families to get DSWD aid
President Rodrigo Duterte has approved additional 4 million beneficiaries who will receive cash aid under the government’s social amelioration program (SAP) for the new coronavirus crisis.
Malacañang said this meant there are now 22 million low-income families that would receive the emergency subsidy from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
“Previously, only 18 million families were supposed to receive the aid. The President decided that all those who need the aid should receive it,” said presidential spokesperson Harry Roque in a TV interview.
He added that the government now had the task of validating the new beneficiaries who would receive P5,000 to P8,000 in cash aid from the DSWD.
Roque made the remarks a day after Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said the government had extended the deadline for the distribution of the first tranche of the COVID-19 emergency subsidy program.
Año said local officials in Metro Manila and other high-density areas were given an additional seven days to distribute the remainder of the first tranche, while local officials in other areas were given a four-day extension.
The local government units (LGUs) were told to immediately liquidate the first tranche of the cash aid so that the DSWD can prepare the release of the second tranche of the emergency subsidy.
The DSWD will still have to validate the beneficiaries identified by the LGUs, while the Commission on Audit will also verify the liquidation reports submitted by the LGUs.
Out of 18 million low-income families, the DSWD reported having dispensed aid to 9.5 million families as of April 29.
The DSWD on Friday said administrative cases could be filed against local government officials if they give cash aid to “ineligible families,” under the prevailing SAP.
“We will validate and LGUs will be accountable,” said Social Welfare Undersecretary Danilo Pamonag during the online meeting of the social amelioration cluster of the House of Representatives’ Defeat COVID-19 committee.
Pamonag also noted that in their omnibus guidelines regarding SAP distribution, if ineligible families receive cash aid, they will also be subject to an investigation to determine their culpability or accountability.
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