DSWD insists on validating 1st COVID-19 aid before allowing 2nd distribution
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) insists on validating the first distribution of the cash aid under the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) before it responds to calls for the quick distribution of a second tranche.
According to the DSWD, validation is important to ensure that families who got the first distribution of the aid were really eligible, which will then make them eligible for a second distribution.
“Validation is performed to check the eligibility of beneficiaries and to see if there were duplication in the provision of the aid from DSWD and other agencies that are required to implement separate assistance under SAP,” the DSWD said on Tuesday.
“DSWD explained that it is aware of the needs of low-income Filipino families whose members still cannot work due to the community quarantine and that its goal is to immediately deliver the second tranche of SAP,” it added.
The DSWD made this clarification amid calls to disburse the second round of aid even without the validation of the first trance reports — or at least allow local government units that have submitted their liquidation of the initial aid to distribute a second tranche.
As of May 22, a total of 1,270 out of over 1,600 local government units have submitted liquidation reports for the first tranche.
The SAP is part of the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act of 2020, which mandates giving assistance to 18 million low-income families affected by the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) put in place over the entire Luzon and other areas.
Controversy has plagued the first distribution — such as local government officials allegedly prioritizing relatives as aid beneficiaries, long queues disregarding physical distancing, and the inability of local governments to efficiently and quickly distribute the aid.
Poor families living in areas now under a general community quarantine (GCQ) — including Metro Manila — fear that they may no longer receive assistance since they can now return to work.
The DSWD assured them, however, that they would be included in the second tranche.
To expedite the distribution of the second tranches, the DSWD again reminded local governments to immediately submit their liquidation reports.
“The validation and evaluation process will only be conducted by the DSWD FOs once the data has been submitted in full,” the DSWD explained.
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