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

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 9, 2020   •   657

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)

DBM releases COVID-19 response fund

Maris Federez   •   May 5, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has assured the public that there are sufficient funds for the government’s response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

In a statement released on Tuesday (April 4), the DBM said “sufficient funds are made available to Departments and Agencies for programs and projects in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The DBM added that aside from the regular appropriations that each agency is getting under the Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 General Appropriations Act (GAA) and the continuing FY 2020 GAA, “the total amount of P189.442-billion in allotments pursuant to the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan II) may still be utilized until June 30, 2021.”

“This is also on top of the P60.605-billion additional allotments released to the Department of Health for foreign-assisted projects, particularly on the procurement of vaccines and other essential equipment and supplies,” it added.

The advisory further said that the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund will be tapped for other COVID-19 pandemic measures that may not be covered by all available funding sources.

Details of all these releases are uploaded on the DBM website for the information and reference of all concerned, the agency said.

The DBM assures that it is committed to fulfilling its mandate “of promoting the efficient and effective management of the national budget to support its budget priorities while also ensuring that the needs of the Filipino people, especially during challenging times such as this, are met.”

Police halts protest of public school teachers in DBM office

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Manila Police District (MPD) Station 14 has stopped the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) from protesting in front of the office of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) on Friday (April 23).

The MPD Station 14, headed by its commander P.Lt.Col. Ramon Nazario ordered the group to stop the protest since mass gathering is still prohibited amid the quarantine restriction as well as the group’s lack of permit.

Una una po alam niyo naman na nasa MECQ [Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine] tayo. Bawal po ang mga gatherings lalong lalo kung sa more than 10 at tsaka violation po ng social distancing so pinaalis po namin sila dito (Firstly, we are under MECQ. Mass gatherings are not allowed especially if it is more than 10. There was also a violation of social distancing so we asked them to leave the area),”  he said.

Meanwhile, the ACT denounces the actions of the MPD. The group said the teachers trooped to the office of the DBM to call for salary upgrading and grant of due benefits.

“The Alliance of Concerned Teachers denounced the ‘high-handed’ acts of the Manila Police District to deter the teachers’ protest action and confiscate their materials in front of the Department of Budget and Management,” the group said.

ACT NCR Union Executive Vice President Louie Zabala reiterated that the group was following health protocols and slammed that police authorities are only using the quarantine restrictions to prevent the group from airing their legitimate demand.

He also stressed that the teachers urgently need economic relief through the release of overly delayed benefits and fulfillment of the president’s promise of a substantial salary increase. AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)

Be responsible in posting identities of SAP beneficiaries on social media, NPC urges LGUs

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 8, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The National Privacy Commission (NPC) has advised local government units (LGUs) to be responsible in posting the identities of Social Amelioration Program (SAP) beneficiaries on social media.

In an advisory, the NPC urges LGUs to “practice transparency with responsibility.”

The agency said that while it understands the accessibility of using social media in reaching out to the public, LGUs should determine which information can be disclosed.

“Public disclosure of personal information should strictly adhere to the principle of proportionality Local Government Units (LGUs) must determine the types of personal data that they will disclose, particularly when the original list of SAP beneficiaries contains sensitive personal information,” the NPC said in a statement.

The NPC advised the local government should be mindful of its “concomitant responsibilities as personal information controllers.” -AAC

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