EMERGENCY AID.  The Department of Social Welfare and Development rolls out the emergency cash subsidy to poor Filipino families amid the coronavirus health crisis. In Central Luzon, the DSWD Central Office has transferred more than PHP7 billion to its 103 local government units for distribution. (Contributed photo by DSWD)

MANILA – Seeing the delay caused by the validation of the beneficiaries of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has expedited its distribution of cash assistance to attend to public needs by amending its existing guidelines for the Bayanihan Fund: Tulong Laban sa COVID-19.

“Under the amended measure, validation of beneficiaries will be conducted after the payout of the subsidies. Thus, local government units (LGUs) may proceed with the distribution of the cash aid within 24- hours upon receipt of the funds from the Department,” DSWD it said in a statement on Thursday.

DSWD will instead validate within 15 days from receipt of documents from the LGUs that support the completion of the distribution of the emergency subsidies.

“The validation is vital to detect the duplication of assistance and to ascertain the eligibility of the beneficiaries,” it added.

Before, the guidelines said the payout for the beneficiaries will come after the DSWD Field Office has verified that the family is qualified to receive the emergency subsidy of the government.

After the head of the family has filled out the social amelioration dorm, it should be submitted to the LGU which will be returned while the other copy shall be kept at home for reference and monitoring of authorities.

As the department heads previously said, the officials can exceed the “indicative number” of families estimated by the agency per barangay.

“DSWD is requesting the local chief executives and their councils to look into their finances, savings, programmed projects for the year that can be deferred, and other possible sources of funds that are available to them, which can be used to fill in the gap of their additional beneficiaries being requested from the DSWD,” it added.

The consolidated list of eligible beneficiaries may also be submitted to the DSWD for endorsement to the Department of Finance and the Department of Budget and Management.

Meanwhile, the DSWD has also provided the breakdown of the fund received by the LGUs.

“As of 8 p.m. of April 14, DSWD transferred around PHP57.8 billion to LGUs,” DSWD spokesperson Irene Dumlao said in a Viber group.

The budget was distributed as follows: PHP4.001 billion to 120 LGUs in Ilocos Region; PHP2.594 billion to 70 LGUs in Cagayan Valley; PHP1.307 billion to 77 LGUs in the Cordillera Administrative Region; PHP7.547 billion to 103 LGUs in Central Luzon; PHP12.468 billion to the National Capital Region; PHP4.819 billion to 54 LGUs in Calabarzon; PHP1.964 billion to 71 LGUs in Mimaropa; PHP3.861 billion to 114 LGUs in Bicol; PHP5.530 billion to 91 LGUs in Western Visayas; PHP4.041 billion to 108 LGUs in Central Visayas; PHP1.874 billion to 62 LGUs in Zamboanga; PHP2.692 billion to 66 LGUs in Northern Mindanao; PHP2.422 billion to 42 LGUs in Davao Region; PHP1.953 to 36 LGUs in Soccsksargen; and PHP1.508 billion to 23 LGUs in Caraga.

DSWD also appealed for understanding as it continues to find ways to respond fully well and in a timely manner to the needs of the 18 million low-income families during these critical times. (PNA)