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Only over 1.3M of 17M beneficiaries received 2nd tranche of cash aid — DSWD

/ 04:07 PM July 07, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Tuesday bared that only over 1.3 million out of 17 million target beneficiaries have so far received the second tranche of the emergency subsidy from the national government in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

During the hybrid hearing of the House committee on good government and public accountability, DSWD Undersecretary Danilo Pamonag said that of those who have received the emergency subsidy, a huge chunk is part of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) who are cash cardholders.

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DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista said that the second tranche of the emergency subsidy to be distributed by their office covers 12 million beneficiaries in areas previously placed under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), as noted in Executive Order 112.

This includes the National Capital Region, Region III except for Aurora province, Region IV-A, Benguet, Pangasinan, Iloilo, Cebu Province, Bacolod, and Davao City. Another memorandum from the Office of the Executive Secretary also includes Albay Province and Zamboanga City.

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Bautista added that five million families considered “waitlisted” will also be covered by the second tranche of the emergency subsidy.

What’s taking it so long?

But lawmakers were not impressed by the speed of distribution of the second tranche of the emergency subsidy.

Deputy Speaker Luis Raymund Villafuerte quizzed the DSWD officials over when other beneficiaries can expect the subsidy.

Pamonag said that they are still waiting for the final list of beneficiaries.

“As long as the names of beneficiaries is completed, we could complete the distribution of emergency subsidy or even just for a period a week. And nakikita namin ngayon (and as we can see now), the list of beneficiaries is still at the ground level so we are just awaiting for the final submissions,” Pamonag said.

“But with the use of digital payments, madali na po ito (this should be quick),” Pamonag added.

Bulacan 1st District Rep. Jose Antonio Sy-Alvarado, who chairs the committee on good government and public accountability, meanwhile said that the committee views the reasoning of the DSWD on the list of beneficiaries as an excuse.

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“‘Yung dahilan na naghihintay kayo ng pangalan, sa palagay ng komiteng ito ay parang palusot kasi mandato talaga ng DSWD talaga na ipamigay yung social amelioration pero hanggang ngayon naghihintay pa kayo ng pangalan,” the lawmaker said.

In response, Pamonag explained that the list of names has to undergo “deduplication” to ensure that the names of the beneficiaries would not duplicate and that the recipients are also not covered by other amelioration programs of other government agencies.

“Precisely, we are reminding those on the ground to facilitate or hasten the submission of names. We are in the process now of what we call deduplication,” Pamonag explained.

“Once the names are submitted and deduplicated, then we can proceed with the digital payment,” he added.

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TAGS: Coronavirus, COVID-19, DSWD, SAP, social amelioration
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