CASH AID. The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) conducts direct payout of the PHP5,000 emergency cash subsidy to waitlisted families in Eastern Visayas in this undated photo. The DSWD said that as of Tuesday (Aug. 4, 2020) 8,957 waitlisted families in the region have received the cash aid under the social amelioration program of the national government. (Photo courtesy of DSWD)

TACLOBAN CITY – Some 8,957 waitlisted families in Eastern Visayas have received the PHP5,000 cash aid under the social amelioration program (SAP) of the national government, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said on Wednesday.

These brought the total fund released in the region to PHP44.78 million as of August 4, DSWD Eastern Visayas Director Marie Angela Gopalan said in a statement.

The regional office has already served 2,813 families in Samar, 1,912 in Northern Samar, 1,328 in Southern Leyte, 1,183 in Biliran, 907 in Leyte, and 814 in Eastern Samar.

“They received cash assistance through direct payout. These are qualified poor families who did not receive the cash grant during the first tranche,” Gopalan said.

In the region, 129 out of 143 local government units have submitted their list of waitlisted family beneficiaries.

A total of 38,420 families were listed from Leyte, 16,393 in Samar, 14,652 in Northern Samar, 5,310 in Eastern Samar, 4,663 in Southern Leyte, and 1,565 in Biliran.

Gopalan said 43 towns across the region have already started the payout for waitlisted SAP recipients.

“We expect more beneficiaries to receive the emergency subsidy in the next days, especially that the DSWD continues to conduct direct cash payout, and we are also preparing for the implementation of the digital payment scheme,” Gopalan said.

Under Republic Act 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, financial support for two months will be granted to indigent families affected by the movement restrictions meant to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

However, Eastern Visayas will no longer be in the second tranche of the emergency subsidy due to downgraded community quarantine status.

Gopalan said they released a total of PHP2.75 million during the first tranche of SAP, serving 550,480 families from the region’s 143 LGUs.

Meanwhile, Eastern Visayas presently has 1,035 confirmed Covid-19 cases, including 743 recoveries and four deaths, according to the Department of Health monitoring report. (PNA)