SAP BENEFICIARIES. The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) releases the second batch of financial aid to beneficiaries of the social amelioration program in Pappa, Sablan, Benguet on Sunday (July 26, 2020). The agency hopes to complete the distribution by the end of July. (Contributed photo from DSWD CAR) 

MANILA – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said it has distributed PHP39.6 billion worth of financial assistance to families hardest hit by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic as of Monday.

The agency reported Monday that more than 6 million low-income families from various regions received aid under the second tranche of the government’s social amelioration program (SAP).

DSWD Secretary Rolando Joselito Bautista, during the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Laging Handa forum, said the agency has been incorporating new methods to improve their services.

These include the use of ReliefAgad app, launched on May 14, which was developed to address the challenges in updating beneficiary data and information as well as to accelerate the distribution of disbursements to beneficiaries.

It also made cash relief distribution faster through financial service providers.

For the first tranche of the emergency subsidy, Bautista said the agency has served some 17.6 million family beneficiaries giving them PHP99.8 billion in total.

DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista shares progress of the second batch of the Social Amelioration Program with forum moderator, Finance Assistant Secretary Tony Lambino, and audience of the PCOO's Laging Handa briefer on Monday (July 27, 2020).

“Of this number, more than 13.3 million low-income families who are non-Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4P’s) beneficiaries with the amount of more than PHP80.6 billion; more than 4.2 million 4P’s beneficiaries with the amount of more than PHP18.3 billion; and more than 98,000 drivers in the National Capital Region received aid through the SAP,” he said.

Earlier, Bautista announced that the agency is eyeing to complete the second wave of SAP distribution by the end of July.

SAP beneficiaries in Laurel, Batangas claim their cash aid in a Robinsons Bank outlet. DSWD also tapped financial service providers GCash, PayMaya,  RCBC, Robinsons Bank, Starpay, and Unionbank.

However, for families who are living in geographically isolated and disturbed areas and areas in conflict, DSWD personnel will reach them along with the police and military no later than August 15. (PNA)