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MANILA – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is resolving issues concerning the distribution of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) for the most vulnerable sectors to ease the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

Cabinet Secretary and Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) Spokesperson Karlo Nograles made this assurance following reports that some low-income households have yet to receive emergency cash subsidies from the government.

“The government recognizes that there have been concerns regarding the prompt distribution of these subsidies. According to the DSWD, they are working on resolving the issues concerning the timely distribution of the SAP, among which are security, the reconciliation of lists of beneficiaries, and logistical challenges––especially with regard to remote communities in the provinces,” he said in a virtual presser on Monday.

Nograles warned local officials against defying the guidelines for the distribution of emergency relief assistance to 18 million poor families, including those who failed to give cash aid to non-registered voters.

Ang pagiging botante po (Being a registered voters) is not one of the qualifications required para po kayo ay magiging isa sa mga beneficiaries nito (to be one of the beneficiaries),” he said.

He said local government officials who gave cash aid to ineligible families will also face criminal, civil, and administrative charges.

Nograles also sought for more patience while waiting for the cash and food assistance.

Makakaasa po kayo na ginagawa po natin ang lahat ng ating makakaya upang mapaabot sa inyo ang tulong na ito sa lalong madaling panahon (Rest assured that we are doing everything we can to deliver help as soon as possible),” he said.

As the “largest and widest” social protection program in the country’s history, he said there is a need for the government to ensure that every beneficiary gets their fair share.

He, meanwhile, urged local government units to submit their respective memorandum of agreements (MOA) and budget proposals for their constituents to the DSWD at the “soonest possible time”.

LGUs need to seal a MOA with DSWD to facilitate the transfer of funds for the subsidy program, he added.

He noted the DSWD will validate the list of beneficiaries within 15 days after the distribution of cash aid.

Citing DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista, Nograles said more than PHP323 million for 14,418 beneficiaries have been distributed to public utility drivers and transport groups in the National Capital Region (NCR).

Under SAP, beneficiaries will get emergency subsidies worth between PHP5,000 and PHP8,000.

Underprivileged, homeless, indigent, and indigenous families are qualified to avail of the cash assistance.

Families with members who are either informal or self-employed worker, rice farmer, fisherman, senior citizen, person with disability, pregnant or lactating women, solo parent, and distressed overseas Filipino worker will also receive the emergency relief.

On the other hand, he said the Department of Labor (DOLE) has distributed funds under its Covid-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) to 167,941 affected workers.

The DOLE has also distributed funds under its Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers to 124,608 individuals, the total of which amounts to PHP507.8 million. (PNA)