DSWD clarifies: Areas picked for SAP’s 2nd tranche based on jointly-approved guidelines
MANILA, Philippines — The areas that were picked to receive the second tranche of the social amelioration program (SAP) were based on the guidelines approved by various government agencies, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) clarified.
DSWD explained on Thursday that the Joint Memorandum Circular No. 2 series of 2020 pointed 11 areas where the second tranche would be distributed, namely: Region III except Aurora Province, National Capital Region, Region IV-A, provinces of Benguet, Pangasinan, Iloilo, Cebu Province, Albay Province, and cities of Bacolod, Davao, and Zamboanga City.
The said memorandum was signed by the different agencies involved in the SAP, including DSWD, the Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Department of Interior and Local Government, and other departments.
“As one of the implementing agencies of the [SAP], the DSWD clarified that it adhered to the guidelines stipulated in the Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) No. 2, S. of 2020 regarding the areas that will be covered by the second tranche of the emergency subsidy program,” DSWD said in a statement.
“DSWD explained that the decision on the areas to be covered by the second tranche of SAP was also provided by Executive Order No. 112, S. of 2020 dated April 30 and the Memorandum issued by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea on May 2 as well as other related resolutions issued by the Inter-agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF),” the statement added.
According to DSWD, this statement was issued in the clarification of the limited areas that are set to receive financial assistance from the government, due to the economic effects brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In social media, several residents who have received the first tranche, but would no longer be part of the latest disbursements have expressed disappointment over the development, as the department previously said that people living in areas that have transitioned to a general community quarantine (GCQ) may still receive aid.
Previously, it was stated that areas under GCQ would not receive aid, as work and basic community systems have already resumed operating unlike in areas under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), where work except for frontline services is suspended.
This system prompted Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda to ask the national government to put Albay back into an ECQ last May 1, as a GCQ would mean that people would no longer receive aid.
The SAP, mandated by Republic Act No. 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act, is a one-time per month assistance to 18 million families affected by the work suspensions due to the pandemic.
When COVID-19 cases rose last March, the government was forced to put Luzon and other areas under an ECQ, thereby suspending work. However, people who rely on daily earnings and those whose jobs cannot adapt to a work-from-home scheme were left without any income.
The second tranche of the SAP has already started, including the provision of social aid to at least 11,000 waitlisted beneficiaries. For this edition, the government has tapped financial service providers, to avoid corruption issues that have hounded the first tranche.
In one of his speeches, President Rodrigo Duterte tasked the military to oversee distribution activities, as local government officials from the city or municipal government to the barangay officials have been accused of keeping the funds for themselves or distributing funds to close friends and relatives first. [ac]
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