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

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 9, 2020   •   229

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)

Set aside politics, prioritize the national budget, Palace tells lawmakers

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 12, 2020

Malacañang reiterated President Rordigo Duterte’s appeal to lawmakers to set aside politics and focus on the passage of the proposed 2021 national budget.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the President wants the national budget to be sorted out since the row for the House leadership is affecting passage of the budget.

“Wala pong tigil ang pulitika diyan sa Kamara, gusto lang pareho maging speaker. Paano naman ang bayan? Wala po siyang pinapanigan, ang gusto lang niya maipasa ang COVID-19 budget na nasa loob po ng proposed 2021 budget, (The politics in the House is non-stop. Both parties want to become House Speaker. What about the nation? [The President] is not taking any sides, he just wants the passage of the COVID-19 budget which is under the proposed 2021 budget),” Roque said.

Duterte already ordered a special session period from October 13 to October 16. Roque also said the President hopes that the proposed national budget will be approved on the third and final reading in the Lower House during that special session period. AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Drilon recommends special session in November for national budget approval

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 12, 2020

Senate Minority leader Senator Franklin Drilon is appealing for a special session in November to assure passage of the 2021 national budget by the end of the year.

The session in Congress will suspend on October 17. Drilon said the national government should not operate under a reenacted budget especially when the country is still dealing with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

The Senator said with the special session, Congress will be able to submit their version of the proposed budget by December.

“We will debate on the budget from November 9 to 13. We can finish it within five to seven days and allot two weeks for the bicameral conference. Congress can send to Malacanang the 2021 GAA by the first week of December so that the President can sign it before January 1, 2021,” he said.

Senate President Vincente Sotto III, meanwhile, is optimistic that there will be no reenacted budget as long as the Senate and the House of Representatives will do their jobs. He also agreed with Senator Panfilo Lacson on recommending the early resumption of the session in November for the deliberation of the national budget. AAC (with reports from Harlene Delgado)

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

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