Ex-VP Binay hits DSWD over ‘botched’ ayuda distribution
MANILA, Philippines — Former Vice President Jejomar Binay on Wednesday said there may be “something more than indifference and negligence” behind the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) “botched” distribution of the Social Amelioration Packages (SAP).
Binay said this in a statement as the DSWD is being investigated at the Senate for involvement with the e-wallet application Starpay for the distribution of cash aid in 2020. The e-wallet app only had a paid-up capital of P62,000.
“The Senate hearings also show that there is something more than indifference and negligence behind the botched ayuda distribution,” said Binay.
“This is yet another example of how [the] government failed to put the welfare of the people first during this pandemic,” he added.
Furthermore, Binay questioned DSWD’s poor planning after it engaged the services of Starpay when 70 percent of its beneficiaries did not own mobile phones, so they were unable to benefit from the digital distribution of cash assistance.
“The DSWD is mandated to serve the poorest of the poor. But it is not even aware, or conveniently ignored, that only 800,000 of its six million SAP beneficiaries have smartphones,” said Binay in a statement.
“Paano nila matatanggap ang ayuda nila digitally kung ganito?” he added.
(How can they receive their help digitally if this is the case?)
SAP beneficiaries were therefore forced to resort to over-the-counter transactions, according to Binay.
“Because of its indifference and negligence, the DSWD exposed over five million Filipinos to the danger of contracting COVID-19. Hindi man lang inisip ang kapakanan ng ating mga kababayan sa panahon ng pandemya (the welfare of our countrymen was not even considered during the pandemic),” the former VP said.
INQUIRER.net is contacting DSWD for comment.
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