The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) today lauded the beneficiaries of the government’s Social Amelioration Program (SAP) in Region 12 and in Navotas for their self-less act of returning or waiving a total of P14.6-million in emergency cash assistance so that these may be given to other low-income families.
“Nakakabilib ang mga taga-Region 12 at Navotas. Nagawa nilang ibalik ang ayuda na dapat sana ay para sa kanila para mapakinabangan ng iba pang mas nangangailangan. Yan ang tunay na Bayanihan sa panahon ng COVID,” said DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año.
What is even more inspiring, according to the DILG Chief, is the fact that those who returned or refused to accept the SAP financial aid are also poor and are also trying to make both ends meet.
“Kahanga-hanga talaga ito. Mga mahihirap na tumulong sa kapwa mahihirap. Mas makahulugan ang pagtulong dahil kahit salat rin sila sa buhay ay inisip pa nila ang iba na nasa mas abang kalagayan,” he said.
Año said the generosity and selflessness of the SAP beneficiaries in Region 12 and Navotas shows the true character of the Filipino that comes out during disasters. “Sa gitna ng Covid-19 crisis, ang mga kuwento ng pag-asa at kabutihang tulad nito ang nagbibigay sa atin ng lakas at inspirasyon na magpakatatag para malampasan ang bangungot na ito,” he said.
Based on the reports received by the DILG Central Office, a total of P10,305,000 in SAP financial assistance in Region 12 and P4.6-million in Navotas had been returned or waived by some qualified SAP beneficiaries.
Meanwhile, DILG Spokesperson and Undersecretary Jonathan E. Malaya also cited the efforts of the local government units (LGUs) in Region 12 for fast tracking the release of SAP to the intended beneficiaries.
“As of May 2, 66.79% of target beneficiaries in the region have already been provided with assistance, with 30 LGUs with 90 to 100% distribution rate. I am sure that at the rate they are going, they will be able to meet the DILG deadline,” he said.
Malaya said that the fast downloading of funds by the DSWD to the LGUs can be attributed to the immediate submission by the LGUs of the Memorandum of Agreement and project proposals which are requisites prior to the release of the SAP funds.
“The payouts in the region is currently ongoing and we hope that the LGUs will be able to complete the distribution so they can already liquidate their pay-outs in preparation for the second tranche of SAP assistance for the poor,” he said.
Under the government’s social amelioration program, 18-million low-income families will be provided with P5,000 to P8,000 subsidy to provide for basic food, medicine, and toiletries which is computed based on the prevailing regional minimum wage rates and existing subsidy programs of the local and national governments.
Each qualified family can receive SAP financial assistance either through the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Agriculture, Department of Labor and Employment, or the Department of Trade and Industry.