Abrigo: Social amelioration hype

The Space Bar

LIKE any other government subsidies, Social Amelioration Program (SAP) captured intense interest for public debate, pros and cons.

The pros maintained it helps families whose income is severely impacted by the stern protocols while the nation is under the state of emergency.

The cons argued that the aide will only promote indolence for the misidentified recipients.

It all started when this administration sang its own praises that it can feed its people and will dispense P6,000 to P8,000 cold cash and or food items to 18 million poor Filipinos. Poor in this context refers to the bunch of sectors identified under section 3 of Republic Act 8425.

SAP is good if effected according to the guidelines, religiously. But I take side with the responsible citizens who opposed to the implementation. Not because I have a lot of resources to sustain for the spell, but because I wanted to spare this administration from the deleterious magnitude of flak from strangers’ eyes before, during, and after the distribution.

Before the distribution - - There are 18 million target recipients. In it, DSWD, being the most potent public body, was tasked for a stringent selection.

During the distribution - - Many averred to be qualified recipients and have filled-out their request forms but were skipped in the actual distribution; whereas some who are ineligible, deceitfully taken the pie.

After the first wave of distribution - - Many out of frustration spewed infernal noise against the local officials and social workers. Some even maliciously gave another meaning to DSWD in social media as the Department of Selection and Wrongful Distribution.

Then, another five million is added to the earlier 18 million identified target beneficiaries. They are those whose lucrative sources of income are reduced or totally wiped out with the ECQs and lockdowns.

At this point, the cons to ameliorations are proven right. The noble program is now colored with biased propaganda, comparable to the Yolanda fund issues.

Why some recipients are caught betting cockfights, figured in drinking spree, and even buy illegal drugs out of the amelioration aide? We throw this question back to the social workers who in the first place failed to identify the worthies and the not. Because the data gathered for analysis reasons were gathered for bureaucratic compliance only.

Well, to end buck-passing, the DSWD established a second pair of eyes to go over their listicles of beneficiaries and update the database before going through the second wave. To help the DSWD debug its database, its central office invites individuals to file an appeal for inclusion to the social amelioration program by contacting them at 02-8-951-2804 local 8892 or through the designated hotlines of their field offices. For Davao Region, the hotlines are 09776586628 and 09518220810.


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