DILG tells LGUs to submit names of families ‘left out’ in SAP 1st tranche

Robie de Guzman   •   May 19, 2020   •   423

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has directed local government units (LGU) to identify and submit the names of households that were ‘left out’ in the distribution of the first tranche of the cash assistance under the government’s Social Amelioration Program (SAP).

In a statement on Tuesday, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año assured these families will be included in the program as long as they are qualified in the guidelines set by the government.

Año said LGUs are given until May 21 to submit the initial list as stated in the memorandum circular he issued to all local chief executives.

“Wag po kayong mag-alala, tutulungan po kayo ng ating pamahalaan. We are giving the LGUs three days to submit their initial list to us in DILG and to the DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) which in turn will validate that list,” he said.

The DILG chief said that these households are estimated to be around five million based on the report of the DSWD.

Año said these households are not recipients of any Conditional Cash Transfer program  and not included in the initial 18 million households who benefited in the 1st tranche of SAP financial assistance.

“Nakita natin na despite the initial 18 million SAP beneficiaries, marami pa rin sa ating mga kababayan ang nangangailangan ng tulong. These left-out households, around five million of them, will be assisted kaya nakapahalaga na mabuo ng mga LGU ang listahan na ito sa lalong madaling panahon,” he said.

Año said the initial list will be prepared by the barangays regardless of the length of stay in the locality and voter’s registration of the members of the household. It must also be posted in conspicuous places in the community and on its social media platforms for public viewing and access.

In the Memo Circular, the DILG chief clarified that the said list “shall in no way be construed as the final list of beneficiaries which shall still be subject to further validation by the DSWD.”

“Muli, barangay ang makakatuwang natin dito sa pagbuo ng listahan na ito. Binabalaan ko muli ang ating mga barangay officials na hindi namin sasantuhin ang mga mandaraya rito at maging sa pamimigay ng 2nd tranche ng SAP,” he warned.

Those with complaints about the initial list of the barangay may appeal their case with the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office or with the mayor himself.

“If no action is taken, the complainant may raise his concern with the DSWD,” the DILG secretary said.

The DILG has recently reported that 23 barangay officials involved in graft and corrupt practices in the distribution of SAP assistance are now facing criminal charges.

Bill extending Bayanihan law for 3 months filed at Senate

Robie de Guzman   •   May 28, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – A bill seeking to extend for three months the validity of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act amid the ongoing novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has been filed at the Senate.

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri introduced Senate Bill No. 1546, proposing the extension of the Republic Act No. 1168 to allow the government to continue its response in addressing the threat and impact of COVID-19 in the country.

The law allows President Rodrigo Duterte to realign items in the national budget for the government’s COVID-19 response. It also grants him the authority to provide emergency support for vulnerable groups and individuals, expand medical resources to fight COVID-19, and finance emergency initiatives to keep the country afloat.

The Bayanihan law, which was signed last March 24, is only valid until June 24.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III, meanwhile, assured that the bill will be approved before the Congress adjourns its session next week.

DILG orders LGUs to submit liquidation reports on cash aid until May 28

Robie de Guzman   •   May 28, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Thursday reminded the local government units (LGU) that they only have until May 28 to submit their liquidation reports on the distribution of the first tranche of government emergency subsidy under the social amelioration program (SAP).

In a statement, DILG spokesperson, Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said Interior Secretary Eduardo Año issued the directive as the government prepares to release the second tranche of the cash assistance.

“As per directive of Secretary Eduardo Año, kailangang tapusin na ng mga LGUs ngayon ang liquidation report nila ng first tranche at isubmit na nila ito pati na ang encoded list of beneficiaries sa DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development),” Malaya said.

“Only then can we proceed with the 2nd tranche,” he added.

The DSWD earlier called on LGUs to expedite the encoding and transmittal of their liquidation reports as these would be used for the validation of beneficiaries and checking of the disbursement for the release of SAP’s second tranche.

The SAP is part of the government’s efforts to assist families heavily affected by the community quarantines due to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

The DSWD said the validation and vetting process by its field offices can only be done when the data per LGU have been submitted in its entirety.

The department noted that the process will take approximately 15 days since validation on municipal, provincial, and regional levels takes place at the field office levels.

Based on reports from the DSWD, the DILG said only 472 out of the 1,634 LGUs nationwide have so far submitted their liquidation reports to that agency as of May 26, 2020.

Malaya said that he hopes that the payout of the 2nd tranche of SAP cash aid would be more efficient and systematic considering that LGUs must have already learned lessons and ironed out the kinks and lapses during the first payout.

“We recognize the huge difficulties encountered by LGUs in the SAP distribution of the first tranche. It is quite understandable because this is the biggest financial cash aid for poor families in the country’s history,” he said.

“Pero ngayon inaasahan namin na mas magiging mabilis na ang proseso dahil pinagdaanan na nila ito at alam na nila ngayon kung paano mas magiging maayos at sistematiko ang pamamahagi ng SAP,” he said.

Malaya also said that the Philippine National Police (PNP) will assist the DSWD and the LGUs during the distribution of the 2nd tranche in geographically-isolated and disadvantaged areas of the country. 

“Nakahanda naman po ang ating kapulisan para alalayan ang DSWD at mga LGUs sa pamimigay ng ayuda sa mga malalayo at ilang lugar sa ating bansa para masiguro na matatanggap ito ng ating mga kababayan,” he said.

The DILG official also said that LGUs are likewise asked to accept returns of SAP cash aid by beneficiaries who received similar benefits from other government agencies such as Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), Department of Labor and Employment’s COVID-19 Adjustment Measures program, and Social Security System’s Small Business Wage Subsidy program.

He said that by returning their SAP aid, these beneficiaries ensure that other families who are also in need of assistance will be given the emergency subsidy.

“Every unreturned amount means that a similar family in need is deprived of cash aid,” he said.

Malaya said that all returned cash subsidies may be given by LGUs to “left-out” families within their jurisdiction prior to liquidation, provided they are qualified to receive the SAP based on DSWD guidelines.

For cash aid returned by beneficiaries after the liquidation by LGUs, Malaya said this shall be remitted to DSWD field offices.  “An official receipt must be issued to the beneficiaries as proof of refund,” he said.

Stranded individuals at returning OFWs lang ang obligadong kumuha ng travel pass – DILG

Robie de Guzman   •   May 28, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Mga locally-stranded individual at returning overseas Filipino worker (OFW) lamang ang kinaikailangang kumuha ng travel authority mula sa Philippine National Police upang makauwi sa kani-kanilang probinsiya, ayon sa Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Ginawa ni DILG Secretary Eduardo Año ang paglilinaw matapos bahain ng mga tanong ang 24/7 Emergency Operations Center at social media account ng ahensiya tungkol sa pagkuha ng travel passes sa gitna ng pagbabalik-operasyon ng maraming industriya at negosyo.

Sa isang pahayag ngayong Huwebes, binigyang-diin ni Año na company identification card at iba pang dokumento lamang ang kailangang ipakita ng mga empleyadong nagbabalik-trabaho upang makalusot sa quarantine control points (QCP) ng Philippine National Police (PNP).

“Hindi na nila (empleyadong nagbabalik-trabaho) kailangan ng travel authority. Sapat na na ipakita nila ang kanilang company ID o certificate of employment sa mga QCPs bilang patunay na sila ay Authorized Person Outside of Residence (APOR),” sabi ni Año. 

Sinabi rin ng kalihim na nakikipag-ugnayan na ang DILG sa mga lokal na pamahalaan upang linawin ang patakaran sa pagkuha ng travel pass matapos mapaulat ang pagpila ng dalawang araw ng mga residente sa Rodriguez, Rizal na namamasukan sa Metro Manila para lang makakuha ng travel authority.

“Kung kayo ay papasok sa trabaho, ipakita ninyo lang ang inyong company IDs o anumang dokumento na nagpapatunay na kayo ay nagtratrabaho sa isang industriyang pinapahintulutan ng IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) na mag-operate,” ani Año.

Pagtitiyak ng kalihim, may hawak na listahan ng mga industriyang ito ang mga security personnel na naka-duty sa checkpoints.

Kabilang sa mga industriyang pinayagang mag-operate sa ilalim ng modified enhanced community quarantine at general community quarantine ay ang food and agriculture, manufacturing, utilities, banks at money-transfer.

Pinag-aaralan pa ng pamahalaan kung papayagan na ring magbukas ang barber shops at beauty salon pati na ang dine-in services sa mga restaurant.

Ayon naman sa tagapagsalita ng DILG na si Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, sa local police stations pino-proseso ang aplikasyon ng travel authority habang sa city o municipal health office naman dapat kunin ang medical clearance.

“Dahil sa direktiba ni Secretary Ano, ang PNP ay naglagay ng helps desks sa lahat ng police station sa buong bansa upang tulungan ang mga stranded individuals. Kailangan ninyo lang isubmit ang inyong medical clearance mula sa mga city/ municipal health office bilang supporting documents,” ani Malaya.

Nilinaw din ng opisyal na lahat ng OFW na nag-negatibo sa COVID-19 test at may hawak na kopya ng test results ay hindi na kailangan pang dumaan sa quarantine ng LGU kapag nakarating na sa kani-kanilang destinasyon.

“Iyon lamang mga OFW na kulang ang dokumento ang dapat ma-quarantine habang naghihintay ng resulta. Pero ang mga resulta ay on-line na kaya’t dapat ay wala ng problema,” sabi ni Malaya.

Siniguro din ng DILG na ang lahat ng stranded individuals ay makakapasok sa kanilang mga lugar hangga’t mayroon silang mga kaukulang dokumento na pinanghahawakan.

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