The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) today commended 828 local government units (LGUs) nationwide that have completed the payout of the first tranche of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) financial assistance to poor families in their localities and have met the deadline set by the Department for SAP distribution.
“Good job sa ating mga LGUs na naipamahagi na sa mga mahihirap na pamilya ang SAP cash subsidy. Pinapatunayan lamang nito ang inyong pagmamalasakit sa inyong mga constituents,” said DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año.
Año urged the 828 LGUs to liquidate immediately. “Ang next challenge sa inyo ay makapag-liquidate kaagad and account for our each centavo of this taxpayer’s money to the DSWD,” he said.
Of the 828 LGUs who beat the deadline, 56 are in the Cordillera Administrative Region; 38 in Ilocos Region; 31 in Cagayan Valley, 36 in Central Luzon, 63 in CALABARZON, 62 in MIMAROPA, 70 in the Bicol region, 114 in Western Visayas, 52 in Central Visayas, 95 in Eastern Visayas, 71 in Zamboanga Peninsula; 17 in Northern Mindanao; 26 in Davao region; 32 in SOCCSKSARGEN; and 65 in Caraga.
For LGUs that have not yet completed the payout, Año said they have to work double time for the benefit of their poor constituents who are severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“One moment of delay or inaction means additional hours of suffering of poor families in your localities. Let us not keep them waiting and let us show them that the government truly cares for them,” he said.
Provincial LGUs were given a four-day extension or until May 4, 2020 for the SAP distribution. Metro Manila LGUs and the provinces of Cavite, Rizal, Laguna, Bulacan, and Cebu and Davao City, which have high-density population, were given until May 7 to complete the payout. The deadline earlier set by the DSWD was April 30.
The DILG Secretary also urged SAP beneficiaries to use the cash subsidy that they received wisely to enable them to last the ECQ.
“Nawa’y gamitin ninyo ng tama at wasto para sa mga pangangailangan ninyo kagaya ng bigas, ulam at iba pa. Hindi po yung para sa luho at hindi puwede sa pangsugal at pambili ng alak,” Año said.
He said that SAP beneficiaries who are also engaged in gambling and drinking and who use the financial aid other than the intended purpose will be delisted, required to return the full amount or sanctioned depending on the severity of their offense.
According to DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan E. Malaya, as of 9Pm of May 4, 2020, the status of the SAP payout for the whole country is at 75%, with CARAGA, Davao Region, MIMAROPA and Bicol leading the pack of regions with the highest percentage of payouts.
“Konting padyak na lang at matatapos na natin lahat ito. Sa ating mga LGUs, paspasan na natin ang kilos para makarating na ang ayuda sa ating mga kababayan,” he said.
Caraga’s regional payout rate as of the deadline yesterday is at 99.01%, Davao region at 95.56%, MIMAROPA at 95.21%, and Bicol at 94.34%.
Closely following the lead are Western Visayas at 88.42%, Region IX is at 84%, Region I has 80.11% payout rate, Region III is currently at 79.27%, Region II is at 73.36%., Region XII is at 77.56%. Meanwhile, CALABARZON has 61.99% payout rate and Region X is at 67%.
“We understand that the LGUs are faced with various challenges unique to your areas amidst the COVID-19 crisis but we trust that you will be able to overcome them and carry out measures to fast track the payout to your constituents without violating the ECQ protocols of physical distancing,” he said.
The DILG Spokesperson also called on the city/municipal mayors and punong barangays to ensure the completion of SAP financial subsidy to their respective areas of jurisdictions without politicking and corruption to avoid legal consequences later on.
“Sabi nga po ni Secretary Año, ngayon ay panahon ng pagtutulungan, hindi ng pamumulitika. Magfocus na lang po tayo sa kung paano makatutulong sa ating mga kababayan,” he said.