DSWD still awaits Palace directive for distribution of SAP's second tranche | Inquirer News

DSWD still awaits Palace directive for distribution of SAP’s second tranche

/ 02:37 PM May 22, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Three weeks into May, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has yet to distribute the second tranche of the government’s cash aid to the poor as it was still waiting for the Office of the President to issue a directive for it.

DSWD Undersecretary Glen Paje said the department cannot begin distribution of the second tranche of the cash aid under the Special Amelioration Program meant for poor and low-income families for the month of May, without a written directive from Malacañang.


In a televised media briefing, Paje asked for “understanding,” saying the distribution process involves “very complex procedures,” which need many considerations.

For weeks now, when asked when the second tranche of distribution will begin, DSWD has answered the same thing: they are waiting for a written directive from the Office of the President.


Thursday’s briefing was no different.

“The decisions to be made here are very sensitive. Whatever Malacañang’s final directive will be on the distribution of the second tranche, we are ready to enforce it,” Paje said, without elaborating on what the cause of the delay is.

Under the original text of RA 11469 of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Law, the government committed to provide emergency cash subsidies of P5,000 to P8,000 to some 18 million poor and low-income families for the months of April and May.

But later, President Rodrigo Duterte said an additional five million households will be included in the list of beneficiaries.

Adding to the confusion is the fact that DSWD also cannot say how many beneficiaries will actually receive cash aid for the second tranche.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in an earlier briefing that only those in areas under Enhanced Community Quarantine until the end of May will be given cash aid for May.

However, the text of the Bayanihan Law says the families of those who received in the first tranche should be the same beneficiaries for the second tranche.


As of Thursday, Paje said they have already serviced 17.4 million households. Of 1,632 local government units (LGUs), 1,250  have already been able to complete their payouts, and of those, 462 have submitted liquidation reports.

Paje also reiterated that DSWD cannot start the second tranche distribution without the liquidation reports.

Earlier, DSWD spokesperson Irene Dumlao said it will take DSWD up to 15 days to complete the validation process, which is meant to ensure that there are no undeserving or duplicate beneficiaries.

However, on Wednesday, DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista said the department needs “at least 20 days” to finish validation.

In Thursday’s briefing, Paje was unable to answer if the department has been able to complete the verification of any of the 462 LGUs which have submitted their reports.

In the same briefing, Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said at least 42 village officials are facing criminal charges for supposedly committing anomalies during the distribution of the first tranche of aid.

Malaya, meanwhile, called the Social Amelioration Program a “complete success”  despite uncertainties regarding the second tranche of distribution as well as the fact that there are still thousands of families who have yet to receive aid for April.

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