SLOW and INEFFICIENT, aside from CHAOTIC, cash distribution in Quezon City. INCOMPETENT City leadership and governance at a time when the coronavirus reigns supreme. HUNGRY PEOPLE have to get relief at once. Quezon City has the most number of confirmed COVID 19 cases in the whole Philippines.
QC stated that 42,255 of total SAP eligible have been paid out out of the city’s 377,854 DSWD allocated beneficiaries. This is only 11% of the total that should have received money. This is an obvious DISTRIBUTION PROBLEM since the cash has already been released to the LGUs. Since DILG included the 4Ps and drivers as additional recipients in its 61% computation, we should also input the same to the Quezon City 11% by adjusting the figure to an estimated 20%. Take note that Quezon City says that the 377,854 poor families in their jurisdiction is underestimated and their DSWD allocation should be increased. As a comparison, in Pasig City, Mayor Vico Sotto said that DSWD only allocated 93,000 slots for financial assistance at the same time that 125,000 families were left out of the list. Pasig City nonetheless provided financial assistance to those not in the DSWD list.
Jail time awaits barangay officials who split cash aid among families – DILG
MANILA, Philippines — Barangay officials involved in the illegal subdividing of the government’s cash assistance among two or three families may face jail time or suspension, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) warned Saturday.
DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said splitting the financial subsidy from the social amelioration program is in violation of Republic Act 11469 or “The Bayanihan to Heal as One Act,” which mandated the distribution of the aid to 18 million low-income families considered most vulnerable in the COVID-19 pandemic.
(If those reports are true that the cash aid is split between families, that is illegal and they may either be suspended or be sent to jail if they really did such a thing.)
DILG earlier said it received reports of the cash assistance being divided among families in a barangay to benefit more people.
In Cabatuan, Isabela, residents complained that local officials decided to divide the P5,500 cash aid among individuals – some of whom not even in the list of beneficiaries of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
“Kung meron po kayong ebidensya na ang inyong kapitan o ang iyong local government official ay ‘yan nga ginawa, ipadala niyo po kaagad-agad sa DILG,” Malaya told the public.
(If you have any evidence that your barangay captain or any local government official did such a thing, please inform the DILG right away.)
“Ang magandang balita po diyan, umabot na po kagabi ng 61% ang nabigyan na ng SAP doon sa 18 million families, [….] kasama na po diyan ‘yung kasama sa 4Ps, hindi kasama sa Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), at mga drivers sa National Capital Region,” DILG Spokesperson Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said in a public briefing.
[Translation: The good news is that we have already reached out to 61% of the 18 million families, including the beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), and drivers in the National Capital Region.]
He highlighted that the department, with the help of the LGUs, may be able to achieve 70% completion of the assistance by tomorrow.
“So hinihikayat po ng DILG ang lahat ng ating mga [local] government units na seryosohin na po natin ito. Tuloy-tuloy na po natin itong ipamigay, kasi wala na pong ibibigay na extension si Secretary Eduardo Año at si Secretary Ronnie Bautista. No more extension. You are given only up to May 7 to finish the distribution,” Malaya emphasized.
[Translation: That’s why the DILG is encouraging all our local government units to take this seriously. Ramp up the distribution, because (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año and (DSWD) Secretary Ronnie Bautista will no longer extend the deadline. No more extension. You are given only up to May 7 to finish the distribution.]
The DILG also warned barangay officials who are allegedly splitting up the cash aid “to provide for all families.”
“Maliwanag po sa batas, sa Bayanihan Act, sa guidelines at joint memorandum circular, at sa omnibus guidelines na bawal pong hatiin ang SAP na ito. [….] ‘Yan po ay pinagbabawal sa batas, at pwede silang (barangay officials) masuspinde at makulong pa,” its spokesman said.
[Translation: It is clear in the law, in the Bayanihan Act, in the guidelines and joint memorandum circular, and in the omnibus guidelines that the SAP fund cannot be divided. That is against the law. They (barangay officials) may be suspended or sent to jail because of that.]
Malaya said concerned beneficiaries may directly report to the department, should they encounter such instances, or have evidence on the matter.
The DILG assured that the national government has provided additional funding for the local government units to help families who were left out of the social amelioration program.
MANILA, Philippines — Only 104 of 1,632 local government units (LGUs) met the April 30 deadline for full payout of the P5,000 to P8,000 emergency cash subsidy for low-income families under the Social Amelioration Program (SAP), meant to cushion the economic impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis.
This was according to Social Welfare Secretary Rolando Bautista, citing a tally made on Wednesday.
Irene Dumlao, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) social marketing service officer-in-charge, said that of the 104 LGUs that completed the payout, only 10 were able to do a 100 percent liquidation of the SAP funds they had received from the DSWD and distributed to eligible families in their jurisdictions.
She identified the 10 LGUs as Adams, Ilocos Norte in Region 1; Pandi and San Miguel both in Bulacan in Region 3; Casiguran, Sorsogon; and San Vicente, Camarines Norte in the Bicol Region; Jordan, Guimaras; Buenavista, Guimaras; and EB Magalona, Negros Occidental in Region 6; and Sulop and Taragona both in Davao del Sur in Region 11.
He said he had allowed partial liquidation, or the submission of early liquidation reports by LGUs, so that the DSWD can start necessary validation. Validation checks, he pointed out, will take no more than 15 days.
Bautista said that as of April 29, the DSWD has distributed P80.8 billion of the SAP funds to 1,515 LGUs.
“Overall, more than P50 billion from DSWD had been distributed among 9.4 million SAP beneficiaries in the first tranche,” he said in Filipino.
Senior citizen rights advocate Romulo Macalintal said the government should consider clustering or grouping contiguous barangays in big or heavily populated LGUs to smoothen the distribution of SAP.
“Barangays with small number of beneficiaries could be merged or grouped with other barangays which have not yet reached the maximum number of beneficiaries they could serve at a given time. Distribution of funds shall be properly scheduled per clustered barangay and should be with full adherence to health protocols versus COVID-19,” Macalintal said.
Detained Sen. Leila de Lima said the Duterte administration should stop blaming “pasaways” or stubborn people who violate quarantine rules for its decision to extend the lockdown.
“Don’t use the people as your punching bag for your frustrations because of your blunders. Maybe you’ve forgotten that we’re going through this Calvary because of you,” De Lima said in a statement written in Filipino.
“You were the ones who brought in the Chinese Communist Party virus. You didn’t act quickly. You belittled and joked about it. And now we’re all reeling from the COVID-19 and you’re now violating human rights,” she said.
“You paint an image of unruly, disobedient and lawless citizens to justify your lust for martial law – the reason some of our ECQ enforcers get the wrong message and see the situation more as a peace-and-order crisis than as a serious health concern,” De Lima said.
A House panel, meanwhile, has proposed a recalibration in the implementation of the government’s P200-billion SAP.
The Defeat COVID-19 Committee (DCC)’s social amelioration cluster has sought changes in rules and procedures of SAP to be able to reach more beneficiaries in the implementation of the second phase of the program this month.
Panel chair and Leyte Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez presented the proposal to the DCC and DSWD’s Bautista at a virtual hearing on the implementation of measures to address the crisis.
Gomez said the DSWD should set a uniform P5,000 cash subsidy for qualified families in the National Capital Region and provinces, as compared with the unequal distribution of P8,000 per family in NCR and P5,000 to P6,500 in provinces – depending on minimum wage set per region.
This way, the lawmaker stressed that the second phase of SAP will reach over 20 million families as compared with the 18 million families targeted by the program under Republic Act 11469 (Bayanihan to Heal as One Law).
“There is enough money for 20 million families and we can also simplify the process,” stressed Gomez, also chair of the House committee on disaster management.
The cluster suggested to the DSWD to continue direct distribution of the cash aid among four million beneficiaries of the government’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), just like in the first phase of SAP.
For the other 16 million poor families not covered by 4Ps, Gomez said the barangays will be required to come up with lists of families living below the 85th income percentile in their respective constituencies to be collated by the local and provincial governments and then submitted to DSWD.
She said their computation showed that around 16 million families are below the threshold.
She said the DSWD may then distribute the cash aid to families in the list, requiring only the ID of the head of the family, signed receipt and photo of recipient.
At the same hearing, Bautista reported to lawmakers that a total of 10,135,634 families have already received cash aid under the SAP.
This represents only about 55 percent of the 18 million target beneficiaries of the program, which was intended to provide financial assistance to poor families while the ECQ is in effect.
The DSWD chief further bared that over P53.8 billion of the P100-billion budget for the first phase of SAP had been distributed to beneficiaries.
The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases had originally required LGUs to complete the distribution of the first phase of SAP by April 30, but extended the deadline by a week due to challenges in populous localities.
Meanwhile, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said it is nearing completion of its two programs aimed at providing financial aid to affected workers – Tulong Pangkabuhayan sa Ating Displaced Workers (TUPAD) and COVID-19 Adjustment Measure Program (CAMP).
DOLE revealed to lawmakers at the same hearing that over P993 million or 87 percent of the P1.146-billion fund for TUPAD had been distributed among 313,700 beneficiaries.
On the other hand, P2.6 billion of the P3.25 billion or 80 percent of CAMP funds had been delivered to 522,855 beneficiaries. – Edu Punay, Paolo Romero