SAP 2nd tranche distribution to start next week – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   June 9, 2020   •   1298

MANILA, Philippines – The distribution of the second round of cash aid under the government’s social amelioration program (SAP) will start next week, Malacañang said Tuesday.

During an online briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said this is based on the assurance made to him by Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rolando Bautista.

“By next week, ready na silang magdistribute,” he said.

Roque expressed confidence that the distribution of the SAP second tranche will be faster this time as part of the fund will be electronically transferred to the beneficiaries.

“It will take them two days to distribute electronically and the rest with the assistance of armed forces. So tuloy na tuloy po yan,” he said.

The Palace official earlier assured that the government’s cash assistance for low-income households heavily hit by the COVID-19 pandemic will proceed even if its enabling law, the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, expires this month.

Under the law, around 18 million low-income households will be given P5,000 to P8,000 cash assistance for the months of April and May.

The number of beneficiaries was later expanded to add five million more families who were ’left out’ in the first tranche but are qualified in the program guidelines.

The government earlier said that police and military will assist the DSWD and local government units in distributing the cash aid’s second tranche in far-flung and ‘problematic’ areas. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

DSWD assures assistance to bereaved family of staff who was found dead in Bulacan

Freema Gloria   •   February 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has extended its condolences to the family of its employee who went missing and was later found dead in Bulacan.

The agency assured the bereaved family of necessary assistance to cope with their situation.

Justine Charles Accad, an employee of the DSWD-Field Office National Capital Region, went missing on February 19 and was found dead two days later, his body stuffed inside a sack and abandoned in a grassy lot in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan.

The department is currently coordinating with the proper authorities for the investigation of the case, allaying fears of agency personnel —especially disbursing officers — that it continues to put a premium on their safety and interest.

The DSWD said, it recognizes the efforts of field workers to deliver the necessary assistance to program beneficiaries despite threats to their health and safety and vows to provide more protection for their employees to prevent similar incidents in the future.

Meanwhile, the field office has processed the burial and financial assistance for the family, as well as the transportation assistance for the mother of Accad who will be travelling from Zamboanga City to Manila.

The department has promised to continue providing assistance to Accad’s family as they go through this difficult period.

DSWD ready to aid areas affected by Taal Volcano unrest

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said it is ready to provide aid to the local government units in need of assistance due to Taal Volcano’s renewed unrest.

In a statement, the DSWD said its field office in Region IV-A has more than P2.6 million worth of family food packs (FFPs) and over P8.5 million worth of available relief supplies for repacking. It also has more than P8.3 million standby funds that can be used to procure additional emergency relief supplies.

“The FO has also placed its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) under heightened alert to monitor volcanic activities and to provide technical assistance to municipalities that will require assistance,” according to the DSWD.

Meanwhile, the department urged residents in areas near the Taal Volcano to be vigilant and to strictly follow the orders of local authorities for their own safety. AAC

Duterte now willing to get COVID-19 vaccine shot in public — Palace

Marje Pelayo   •   February 15, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Contrary to Malacañang’s previous announcement, Secretary Harry Roque announced on Monday, February 15, that President Rodrigo Duterte is now willing to receive a COVID-19 vaccine publicly.

“Well I think the President has said that he will now have himself vaccinated publicly,” Roque said.

According to the presidential spokesperson, the Chief Executive will do it to encourage and strengthen the public’s confidence in the vaccine. 

However, Roque did not confirm the date or time for the anticipated inoculation.

“He only has to announce when it will be done and that’s of course in recognition of the fact na nagaantay ng senyales ang taumbayan kung talaga sila’y magpapabakuna o hindi. So I think that is a policy that we will now pursue,” he said.

It was in August last year when the President announced his readiness to be the first to get inoculated using the vaccine from Russia’s Gamaleya Institute once it arrives in the country. 

Later on, the Palace backtracked on its previous announcement and said Duterte had decided to have it privately.

Around 600,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine from China’s Sinovac Biotech are expected to arrive on February 23.

Meanwhile, the exact date for the arrival of 117,000 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine from the COVAX Facility has yet to be confirmed though the shipment is also expected this month.

Aside from the president, other high ranking government officials have also volunteered to be vaccinated in public to increase vaccine confidence.

Based on the recent Pulse Asia survey result released in January, almost half of the Philippine population expressed hesitation in receiving the vaccine due to safety concerns. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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