SAP cash aid will continue despite Bayanihan Law expiration – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   June 25, 2020   •   467

MANILA, Philippines – The expiration of Republic Act 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act will not affect the release and distribution of the cash assistance intended for low-income households gravely affected by the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis, Malacañang said on Thursday.

“Sa ngayon, wala namang epekto,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said during a virtual presser. “Hindi naman po sakop iyan ng Bayanihan Act. It’s a physical act of disbursing what has been allotted by Congress. So wala pong problema iyan.”

Under Bayanihan Law, the government is mandated to provide emergency subsidies ranging from P5,000 to P8,000 under the Social Amelioration Program to 18 million poor households who are heavily affected by the community quarantine.

In the first tranche of the program, family beneficiaries living in enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) have already received cash aid. In the second tranche, additional five million families living in ECQ areas will receive subsidy from the government.

Roque expressed his belief that the government did its job when it came to distributing financial assistance to the program’s intended beneficiaries and other sectors affected by the pandemic.

He also believes that the government has implemented the necessary measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country, such as the procurement of test kits, personal protective equipment, ventilators and other medical supplies.

“Bagaman tumaas, kung ikukumpara sa buong daigdig, di naman po ganuon ka-grabe, third in ASEAN but worldwide, I think we’ve done a very good job, lalong lalo na po sa paglimit ng mortality,” he said.

Roque, however, admits that the Bayanihan Law’s expiration will affect the country’s further needs if the public health crisis continues and more people will become infected with the virus.

“Makakaapekto po yan sa future needs natin, kita ninyo naman ang nangyari sa Cebu… Ang istorya ng Cebu ay istorya ng buong Pilipinas. Kapag sumipa po ang numero ng COVID-19, napakarami pong pangangailangan,” he said, referring to Cebu City which appears to be an emerging virus hotspot after recording a spike in the number of infections.

Meanwhile, Roque said the chief executive may call for a special session of Congress once the proposed economic stimulus program to help ride out the coronavirus pandemic is finalized.

“Magpapatawag po ang presidente ng special session kung mayroon na pong nabuong concensus kung magkano ang nabuong stimulus package dahil napasama na po sa isang panukalang batas yung extension ng emergency powers at stimulus package,” he said.

The Congress adjourned sine die its first regular session early this month without passing the proposed second Bayanihan Act.

The Palace earlier said the government prefers a proposed economic stimulus that it can afford and will not require too much borrowing.

Congress will resume its session in July. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

More public transport drivers receive SAP cash assistance

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 10, 2020

More Transport Network Vehicle Service (TNVS) and Public Utility Vehicles (PUV) drivers affected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic have received aid under the Social Amelioration Program (SAP).

A total of 216,556 drivers have received their emergency cash subsidy under SAP, according to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

“Of the number, some 169,939 TNVS and PUV drivers come from various parts of the country while 46,617 are residents of areas declared under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) on May 1 and May 2,” the DSWD said.

The cash subsidies of the drivers were distributed through the digital scheme with DSWD’s partner-Financial Service Providers (FSPs) such as GCash, Paymaya, Starpay, and several bank branches across the country.

Meanwhile, the DSWD is validating its list to prevent any duplication of names.

The department also said that drivers who are not included in the list but are eligible to receive aid are referred to concerned DSWD Field Offices for inclusion to the roll of SAP waitlisted beneficiaries. -AAC

SAP will no longer be funded under proposed 2021 national budget —DBM

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 9, 2020

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said there will be no budget to be allotted for the government’s Social Amelioration Program (SAP) under the proposed 2021 National Budget.

DBM Secretary Wendel Avisado said they expect the economy to recover next year with additional job opportunities available.

He also clarified that there will still be an allotted budget for the regular programs of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

“We’re looking at the improvement in the economy and the opportunity for people to be able to work already. And we still have the regular programs, the 4Ps your honor, that will be continued,” he said on Wednesday (September 9) during a Senate hearing.

Under the proposed P4.5 trillion budget, P171 billion will be allotted to the DSWD. AAC (with reports from Harlene Delgado)

DSWD launches website to address SAP-related grievances

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 14, 2020

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has launched a website that caters to complaints and other queries about the Social Amelioration Program (SAP).

The uSAPtayo website will enable the public to ask questions or submit grievances on the implementation of SAP. The uSAPtayo website is accessible 24/7.

“In four easy steps, the public can transmit their grievances: one, visit usaptayo.dswd.gov.ph; two, click makipag-usap; three, fill out the information and upload supporting documents or proof; and four, click submit,” the DSWD said in a statement.

The DSWD cautions the public against fake SAP social media pages and groups that spread misinformation or gather personal information for use by scammers. AAC

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