MANILA – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Monday said local government units whose listed recipients of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) will not pass the validation process will be obliged to return the fund to the agency.
DSWD Undersecretary for Special Concerns Camilo Gudmalin, in an interview with the Philippine News Agency, said the LGU will have to refund the amount released to unqualified beneficiaries to receive the government’s emergency subsidy for low-income families who were heavily affected by the containment measures amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
“Ang ating ahensya magka-conduct ng validation after the payouts (The agency will conduct a validation after the payouts). The LGUs will submit all documents including their [beneficiaries’] Social Amelioration Card copies, sample/post-audit [to see if] yun bang nakatanggap ng subsidiya ay karapat-dapat (those who received are among the target beneficiaries),” he said.
The DSWD will submit an advisory to the concerned LGU with the list of recipients who did not pass the validation.
“Bibigyan ng advisory ang concerned LGUs na [nagsasabing] itong pondo na naibigay ay ibalik sa DSWD (The concerned LGUs will receive an advisory stating they need to return the fund to DSWD),” he added.
Special guidelines amended
In the initial version of the special guidelines for DSWD’s SAP, would-be beneficiaries are subject to undergo the verification process to be done by DSWD Field Offices to validate whether they qualify as an indigent family.
However, DSWD spokesperson Irene Dumlao said given that “it is a working data”, they have amended the guidelines to hasten the distribution so the assistance could be provided immediately to families who are in dire need of the subsidy.
DSWD said with the amended guideline, LGUs may proceed with the distribution of the cash aid within 24 hours upon receipt of the funds from the department, adding that DSWD "will conduct validation within 15 days from receipt of documents from the LGUs that support the completion of the distribution of the emergency subsidies”.
“The validation is important as this will detect the duplication of assistance and to ascertain the eligibility of the beneficiaries,” DSWD added.
As of 8 p.m. of April 19, DSWD reported that at least PHP73.7 billion were already downloaded to the LGUs for distribution of the SAP.
Some 4,886,083 beneficiaries already received their subsidy as of the said date.
Of this number 1,164,250 are not 4P’s beneficiaries while 3,721,833 4P’s beneficiaries received their subsidy through their cash cards.
The cash aid amounting to PHP3,650 to PHP6,650 per beneficiary was credited to their Landbank cash cards.
Together with the DSWD, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Land Transportation and Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), Landbank started distributing to 18,602 Transport Network Vehicle Service (TNVS) drivers in the National Capital Region amounting to PHP148.816 million with each driver receiving PHP8,000 to help tide them over in these difficult times.
Under the COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), a total of PHP1.2 billion in financial assistance will be released to an initial batch of 250,000 beneficiaries from 2,773 private companies at PHP5,000 per worker. (PNA)