AFP fully securing SAP 2nd tranche distribution

By Priam Nepomuceno

June 18, 2020, 3:25 pm

MANILA – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Thursday said it has beefed up troop deployments to prevent communist terrorists and other lawless groups from interfering with the distribution of the second tranche of the social amelioration program (SAP) which aims to support low-income families affected by the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

AFP public affairs office chief, Navy Capt. Jonathan Zata, said the military will continue to provide technical, administrative, and logistical assistance; utilizing land, air, and sea assets to transport Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) personnel and goods as needed.

"The AFP joins the DSWD, Philippine National Police (PNP), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Local Government Units (LGU) in a whole of the nation approach to complete the distribution of the emergency subsidy for the 2nd tranche," Zata said in a statement.

The distribution of the second tranche of the SAP started on Wednesday and will benefit poor families from the National Capital Region; Central Luzon except for Aurora province; Calabarzon; the provinces of Benguet, Pangasinan, Iloilo, Albay, and Cebu; and the cities of Bacolod, Zamboanga, and Davao.

Based on Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) No. 2 dated June 9, the Department of National Defense through the AFP was tasked to lead the agencies in security and coordination with local government units (LGU) with regard to the distribution.

AFP chief-of-staff, Gen. Felimon T. Santos Jr. said the AFP is fully complying with President Rodrigo Duterte's directive for the timely and effective distribution of assistance. "The AFP treats the Social Amelioration Program with the same importance as the other duties we have on hand. We join other government agencies in a collaborative effort to “heal as one” in the battle against Covid-19,” he said.

Together with DSWD special disbursing officers (SDO), the military will aid in the actual distribution and handling of funds in identified Conflict-Affected Areas (CAA) and Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDA).

The AFP will also join DSWD personnel in responding to grievances including public turmoil and irregularities. (PNA)