A TOTAL of 354,063 low-income households, all beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino (4P) program in the Central Visayas, received cash assistance of P6,000 from the National Government’s Social Improvement Program (SAP) at noon on Wednesday April 29. 2020.
Shalaine Lucero, deputy regional director of the Department of Social Protection and Development-Central Visayas (DSWD 7), said this represents about 2.1 billion pesos, or about 32% of the entire SAP fund of 6, 3 billion pesos allocated to the region.
As provided for in Republic Law 11469, or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, the PAS is cash assistance worth 5,000 to 8,000 pesos, based on the region’s minimum wage rate. , for some 18 million low-income households affected by the work stoppage due to the quarantine measures imposed as part of the 2019 coronavirus disease pandemic (Covid-19).
Lucero said DSWD 7 completed the transfer of SAP funds to 132 local government units (LGUs) in the central Visayas last week.
However, only seven LGUs have completed the distribution of cash assistance: the municipalities of Pilar, Tudela and Poro in Cebu province; Vallehermoso, Loboc and Pilar in Bohol; and Manjuyod in Negros Oriental.
The first municipality to distribute the SAP was Manjuyod on April 9, while Pilar was the first to complete the task in the third week of April.
TARGET DATE APRIL 30
LGUs have until April 30 to complete the distribution of government grants under the SAP to qualified beneficiaries.
However, LGUs can write to the secretaries of the DSWD and the Ministry of Interior and Local Government to request an extension period. Again, they must provide a valid reason according to Lucero.
“Gusto ta nga by the end of April. Pero naa man poy realities in his field that cause delays, such as revalidation, eligibility problems, unya some LGUs nga ang ilahang treasurer gagmay ra silag bond so they cannot not do it both nga dinagko og cash advance, (We want to finish in April. But there are factors that cause delays, like revalidation and eligibility issues. There are also LGUs whose treasurers have limited obligations and as such cannot be granted large cash advances, ”she said.
“Ang between gusto nga mu-commit sila (LGUs) unsa nga date ang ilang kaya, (we want them to commit to a most achievable date),” she added.
Based on the PAS distribution guidelines, “regular” LGUs or those outside of geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (Gida) should release funds for their constituents within seven days of receiving the money, while those identified as Gida is 10 days old.
Meanwhile, of about 289,000 4P beneficiaries in the region, 78% of them, or nearly 225,000, received 4,650 pesos to top their monthly cash assistance of 1,350 pesos.
In addition to SAP, the agency distributed a total of 38,138 family food packages worth P 14,831,170.60 to LGUs who requested help.
DSWD 7 now has a stock of 59,100 food packages worth around 19 million pesos. (SRT)