The digital distribution of the second tranche of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP 2) through financial service providers (FSPs) in the National Capital Region (NCR) is in full swing and is expected to be completed by the end of next week, according to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).
DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año says that as of August 7, 2020, SAP 2 financial assistance has so far been disbursed to 71,701 waitlisted family beneficiaries from NCR and the distribution will be completed by end of next week. He also says that digital disbursement of the SAP second tranche to some 1,553,052 original family beneficiaries have started in the pilot cities of Caloocan, Makati, Pasig, and Quezon City.
Waitlisted family beneficiaries are to receive P16,000 corresponding to 2 tranches of the SAP while original family beneficiaries who already received their first tranche last April-May will receive their second tranche of P8,000. 4Ps beneficiaries will also receive their 2nd tranche of P8,000. A total of P28.3-billion has been allocated for SAP 2 by the government.
He says that all 17 LGUs in Metro Manila, corresponding to a total of 2,675,610 family beneficiaries (original, 4Ps and waitlisted) shall receive their emergency subsidy through digital means and there will be no manual distribution unlike in the first tranche of the SAP. “Both the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the DILG agreed that we will largely distribute SAP 2 via digital disbursement and we will only resort to manual disbursement in isolated rural areas in the provinces,” he says.
“We are pleased to report that distributing SAP 2 through various digital platforms or FSPs is currently in full swing in Metro Manila. Tuloy-tuloy po ang pakikipag-ugnayan ng DSWD sa mga LGU at FSP partners nito para tuluyan nang ma-distribute ang SAP 2 sa ating mga kababayan sa Kamaynilaan,” Año says.
“Both the DSWD and the DILG are looking at Saturday, August 15, 2020 to complete the distribution of SAP 2 financial aid to our target of more than 2,675,610 family beneficiaries, both original and wait-listed, in Metro Manila. The release of this financial aid during the MECQ will help mitigate the economic impact of stricter quarantine measures in Metro Manila and surrounding provinces,” says Año who is also Vice Chair of the NTF COVID-19.
Año says that as of yesterday, 71,701 of the waitlisted family beneficiaries from Caloocan City, Las Pinas City, Makati City, Mandaluyong City, Marikina City, Navotas City, Pasig City, San Juan City, Valenzuela City, and Quezon City have received their financial assistance through GCash and Starpay, the partner FSPs of DSWD. The other FSPs tapped by the DSWD to distribute the aid are PayMaya, Robinson’s Bank, and Union Bank.
Among these LGUs, Quezon City has the most number of waitlisted beneficiaries to receive their SAP 2 financial aid with 20,856 followed by Caloocan City with 18,704; and Pasig City with 17,865.
As to the original SAP 2 beneficiaries, the digital distribution of the 2nd Tranche of P8,000 have already started in the pilot cities of Caloocan, Makati, Pasig, and Quezon City with the rest of the LGUs for completion before the end of the month.
He says that they met with all the LGUs of Metro Manila the other day to seek their support in locating some of the family-beneficiaries who did not indicate a phone number in their SAC forms. “Since its now digital disbursement, the DSWD needs a phone number to be able to contact the beneficiaries. The LGUs have committed to help locate these beneficiaries through the barangay officials,” he says.
“We are working very closely with the LGUs to settle all the remaining issues like the back-log in the encoding of the SAP forms and in locating the beneficiaries who have missing or invalid phone numbers to be able to complete the SAP distribution by the end of the week,” he says.
Meanwhile, 215,934 beneficiaries of the Pantawid ng Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) have already received their 2nd tranche of the SAP amounting to a total of P1.4-billion through electronic disbursement.
Practice physical distancing
Meanwhile, DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya is reminding SAP beneficiaries to practice minimum health standards, especially physical distancing, when they are claiming their financial aid in remittance centers. “Our field offices have monitored long lines in some remittance centers, we advise them to practice social distancing at all times to protect themselves and their families,” he says.
He says that other than digital transactions, beneficiaries also have the option to withdraw their cash aid in selected remittance centers like Cebuana and Palawan so long as they bring government issued IDs, hence, “they must still practice physical distancing together with other minimum health standards to avoid transmission of COVID-19.”
He explains that acquiring the virus by not exercising physical distancing will defeat the whole purpose of the assistance. “It’s the greatest irony of all kung makukuha ng mga tao ang virus sa pag-claim ng SAP 2. Yan po ay nakakalungkot kaya po pakiusap, maintain a physical distance.”
Among other minimum health protocols imposed in the COVID-19 crisis are mandatory wearing of face masks; physical distancing; and, constant washing of hands or usage of alcohol or sanitizer.
Malaya also encourages SAP 2 beneficiaries to maximize the use of cashless transaction, if possible, as FSP platforms like GCash and PayMaya through their mobile applications can also be used to purchase products. “Kung puwedeng hindi na nila i-encash at dumiretso na sila sa mga grocery o botika na tumatanggap ng cashless transaction mas mabuti, mas walang contact. Mas protektado tayo sa virus.”