INSTEAD of causing relief, the cash subsidy being distributed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) under the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) has stirred confusion among residents of Barangay Sampaloc in Apalit town.
This was the sentiment of said village’s chairman Renato Pacia as he appealed to the national government to clarify the actual allocation per barangay of the said financial assistance.
SAP is the emergency subsidy distributed by the national government through DSWD to low-income households amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation.
According to Pacia, the number of beneficiaries allocated by the DSWD in their barangay did not even reach half of the estimated total number of households.
This is contrary to House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano’s statement that each household will be receiving the P5,000 to P8,000 cash aid under the said program.
“In our barangay alone, we have more than 3,000 estimated total households, including those in private subdivisions. But the allocated beneficiaries for us is only 934. Where are we getting the more than 2,000 families who will be asking the same cash assistance from us?” Pacia asked.
He said that distribution of social amelioration benefits is becoming problematic not only in his village as residents expect that all of them will be receiving the equal amount of subsidy.
“I have been receiving phone calls and messages from my fellow village chairmen that they are experiencing the same situation in their area,” Pacia said.
Based on the data released by the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office here, only 11,065 out of the estimated total number of households of 23,700 will be benefiting from the said program.
In the whole Pampanga province, only 50.26 percent or 275,162 of the estimated total number of households of 547,522 will be receiving cash aid, basing from the data released by the Provincial Information Office.
According to the DSWD, only beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), senior citizens, persons with disability, pregnant women, lactating women, Overseas Filipino Workers in distress, informal workers, occasional workers, homeless, house helpers and family drivers, drivers of public utility vehicles, micro-entrepreneurs and producers, operators of sari-sari stores, and family enterprise owners can avail of the program.
Pacia said village chairmen and their families are the ones mauled with complaints from the residents who are asking for their piece in the cash subsidy.
“We have been bad-mouthed and threatened by our constituents because our explanation contradicts that of the national government. That is why we are asking for clarification,” he said.