OVER 700 local government units (LGUs) have yet to complete the distribution of cash assistance under the government’s social amelioration program (SAP) a day before the deadline set by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).
DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said 828 LGUs, or more than half of the total, have already completed the distribution of the cash grants of P5,000 to P8,000 per family.
There are a total of 1,540 LGUs in the Philippines. This means that 712 LGUs still have to finish distribution.
Of the 828 LGUs that 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 Bicol, 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.
Año commended these LGUs. He said the challenge now is liquidation of the funds.
“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,” he said.
DILG Undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said the regions with the highest payout rates were Caraga, Davao, Mimaropa and Bicol.
Caraga’s payout rate was 99.01 percent as of Tuesday, Davao’s was 95.56 percent, Mimaropa at 95.21 percent and Bicol at 94.34 percent.
Año urged the LGUs that have not completed distribution of the assistance to work double time.
“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.
The DILG earlier set the SAP distribution deadline for April 3. This was extended until May 4 for provincial LGUs and until May 7 for LGUs in Metro Manila and the provinces of Cavite, Rizal, Laguna, Bulacan, and Cebu and Davao City.
LGUs that fail to deliver within the said period will be asked to explain and may face sanctions.
As of May 4, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said 12.5 million of the 18 million families supposed to benefit from SAP have already received the cash aid.
Of the P100 billion allocated for the program, P68.2 billion has been distributed.
The beneficiaries include families listed under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4P’s), other low-income families and public utility vehicle drivers.
SAP beneficiaries who use the cash grant for gambling, drinking and other purposes other than to procure basic needs will be delisted, required to return the full amount or sanctioned depending on the severity of their offense. (SunStar Philippines)