Poe asks gov’t to include ‘left out’ PUV drivers in distribution of SAP 2nd tranche
Robie de Guzman • May 21, 2020 • 482
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Grace Poe on Thursday called on the government to include public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers in the second tranche of the emergency subsidy under the social amelioration program (SAP).
In a statement, Poe said PUV drivers who have yet to receive assistance more than two months into the quarantine should not be left out in the distribution of the cash aid.
She noted that in the Executive’s latest report to Congress on the implementation of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, a total of 62,028 PUV and transport network vehicle service drivers have received cash aid out of the 90,000 estimated beneficiaries.
Poe stressed that the cash assistance should be given to PUV drivers whose livelihood has been affected by the suspension of public transport operations.
“There are more PUV drivers who are barely getting by because of the two-month lockdown, and we hope that government will come to their aid,” she said.
“We expect that the release of SAP’s second tranche to our vulnerable sectors, including drivers, will be more brisk this time, in the wake of the government’s move to send assistance instead through digital means,” she added.
The government rolled out its emergency subsidy program to help 18 million low-income households heavily impacted by the quarantine. Under the program, the intended family-beneficiaries will receive a two-month cash subsidy.
After its first tranche, the executive department raised the number of beneficiaries to 23 million to include those who are not recipients of any Conditional Cash Transfer program and not included in the initial list of beneficiaries but are qualified in the government’s guidelines.
Apart from the cash aid, Poe also asked for assurance from concerned government agencies that all measures are in place to avoid a spillover of commuters along highways in the face of social distancing measures, as the government gears up for the resumption of mass transportation.
She said transportation officials and other implementers should brace for the challenge of “enabling the movement of people without enabling the spread of the virus.”
“The influx of commuters at the train stations will unavoidably lead to long queues. Without proper strategy, this can compromise the safety of the public,” Poe warned.
The senator earlier asked the Department of Transportation to submit to the Senate a report on its strategic preparations to ensure order and proper enforcement of safety protocols once public transportation resumes operations.
With the reduced ridership due to physical distancing, Poe had said government assistance should be on hand to address the expected decrease in take-home income of drivers.
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Wednesday urged local government units (LGU) to expedite the encoding and transmittal of their liquidation reports on the distribution of the first tranche of the government’s social amelioration project (SAP).
The DSWD said the liquidation reports from LGUs are necessary as this 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 liquidation report is vital in the process of validation as it includes the report of the disbursement (containing the photos of the recipients, Social Amelioration Card Forms, and amount of cash received); Report of Checks Issued and Report of Disbursements certified by the LGU accountant and approved by the Local Chief Executive; and a copy of the Official Receipt for the refund/return of unutilized SAP funds,” the department said in a statement.
The DSWD explained that 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.
The DSWD Central Office will then conduct cross-matching with other government agencies’ lists of beneficiaries to avoid duplicity and ineligibility. The process will take another seven days in order to ensure that the recipients are indeed among the SAP’s target beneficiaries.
“The DSWD is exhausting all means to shorten the vetting and validation process, however, we need the full cooperation of the LGUs in order to effect this,” it said.
The department said that of the 1,479 LGUs that have completed the first tranche of SAP, only 659 had submitted liquidation reports as of Wednesday.
The DSWD earlier said it is still awaiting guidelines from the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases for the distribution of the second tranche.
MANILA, Philippines – Inaasahang magpupulong ngayong linggo ang Technical Working Group ng Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-MEID) upang isapinal ang mga proseso sa pamamahagi ng ikalawang bugso ng cash aid sa ilalim ng social amelioration program (SAP) ng pamahalaan.
Ayon kay Department of Social Welfare Undersecretary Rene Paje, pinag-aaralang maigi ng IATF ang mga paraan upang mapabilis ang distribusyon ng ayuda lalo’t nadagdagan pa ng limang milyong pamilya ang mga benepisyaryo nito.
Labing-walong milyong low-income households ang inisyal na target beneficiaries ng programa ngunit dinagdagan ito matapos umapela ng tulong ang maraming mahihirap na pamilya na hindi sakop ng programa ngunit kuwalipikado sa inilatag na guidelines.
Sinabi rin ni Paje na target nilang simulan ang second tranche ng programa bago matapos ang buwan ng Mayo ngunit hindi pa tiyak kung anong petsa ito maisasagawa dahil naka-depende ito sa galaw ng local government units (LGU), partikular na sa pagsasagawa ng first tranche payout at pagsusumite ng liquidation report nito sa DSWD.
Sa huling tala ng ahensya, nasa 1,479 LGUs na sa bansa ang nakakumpleto ng pay-out sa kanilang mga benepisyaryo ngunit 44% lamang sa mga ito ang nakapagpasa ng liquidation report, na siya namang idadaan sa validation process ng DSWD.
“‘Yan po ay pina-facilitate natin sapagkat kung maari sana magawang buo, yung nationwide yung ating pagsasubmit ng beneficiaries na encoded na SAP forms sapagkat ito po dapat i-validate natin,” ani Paje.
“‘Yun po ang nasa memorandum circular at nasa procedure natin… Pero ‘yan po ay masusing pinag-aaralan ng DSWD upang mas mabilis natin at mapaaga ang distribution ng 2nd tranche,” dagdag pa niya.
Sinabi rin ni Paje na isinusulong ng DSWD na dapat mabigyang-prayoridad sa distribusyon ng SAP second tranche ang waitlisted o ‘yung mga kwalipikadong benepisyaryo ng programa ngunit hindi nakatanggap sa unang bugso ng ayuda.
“Ang proposal po ay dapat makatanggap din sapagkat ang katumbas ng tatanggapin nila ngayon ay ‘yung first tranche, at kung sila po ay nanatili pa rin sa ECQ area, dapat makatangap sila ng para sa second tranche,” sabi ng opisyal.
Ayon kay Paje, kabilang sa mga paraang pinag-aaralan upang mapabilis ang SAP cash aid distribution ay ang paggamit ng digital payment scheme at mobile app na “Relief Agad.”
Ngunit para sa mga walang smartphones, papayagan pa rin naman aniya ang “big venue payout” o pagtitipon sa isang venue para ipamahagi ang SAP cash aid basta’t magpapatupad ng health at safety protocols.
Ayon naman sa tagapagsalita ng DSWD na si Irene Dumlao, kakatulungin nila ang pulisya at militar sa pamamahagi ng ayuda upang matiyak ang kaayusan.
Nanawagan rin siya ng pang-unawa sa publiko, lalo na ang mga higit na naapektuhan ng COVID-19 crisis.
“Tayo ay humihingi ng pang-unawa sa ating mga kababayan na naapektuhan ng krisis at naghihintay po ng tulong o ayuda mula sa ating pamahalaan,” ani Dumlao.
“Sinisikap po natin na bumuo ng mga polisiya o mga panuntunan that will ensure the distribution of aid in an expeditious and effective manner,” dagdag pa niya. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Harlene Delgado)
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Tuesday reported that there are now 134 barangay officials who are facing criminal raps over the alleged anomalies in the distribution of cash aid under government’s social amelioration program (SAP).
DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said the development represents a 320% increase in the number of barangay executives who are facing complaints before the Prosecutor’s Office of the Department of Justice for their alleged offenses.
Last May 20, the DILG reported that 42 barangay officials were charged by the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) in relation to the alleged SAP irregularities.
“Hindi ninyo matatakasan ang mga panlolokong ginawa ninyo sa pamimigay ng ayuda. Sinira ninyo ang tiwala ng gobyerno at ng inyong mga kabarangay kaya sa kalaunan, sa kulungan ang bagsak ninyo,” Año said in a statement issued on Tuesday.
Año revealed that a total of 318 complainants went to the PNP-CIDG to report the alleged wrongdoings of their barangay officials during the SAP distribution.
The PNP-CIDG will file nine more cases in the next few days as it fast tracks the case build-up on 86 other cases, he added.
The DILG earlier said that “splitting” is among the top complaints leveled against erring barangay officials, in which they allegedly divide the SAP cash aid of one family to benefit other families.
Collecting “processing fees” and getting a cut from the SAP financial aid of beneficiaries also emerged as among the top complaints against some barangay officials.
DILG spokesperson and Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya also said that politics was sometimes at play in the distribution of SAP in some areas where local executives allegedly deprived residents from receiving cash assistance because they are not among their political supporters.
“Ilang beses na naming inuulit. Hindi criteria ang pagiging kamag-anak o kakampi sa politika sa pamimigay ng SAP. Para ito sa mga kapus-palad ano man ang katayuan,” Malaya stressed.
Cases for violation of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and RA 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act were filed by the PNP-CIDG against these barangay officials, the DILG said.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra and Prosecutor General Benedicto Malcontento earlier directed all prosecutors in the country to set the preliminary investigations, as soon as possible, to monitor the progress of such cases which have taken on “a sinister and disgraceful character, considering that money intended for poor hungry people is unlawfully taken away from them.”
“We are grateful to the DOJ and the Prosecutor General for prioritizing these cases. We need to send a strong message to corrupt barangay officials that their criminal activities will not be tolerated,” the DILG said.
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