THE Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is set to receive P12 billion from the Bayanihan 2 Bill.
DSWD Cordillera Director Leo Quintilla clarified that the share of the region from the P12 billion will be given to identified beneficiaries based on the memorandum circular to be released by their central office and is not part of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP).
"Definitely, the DSWD will release a memorandum circular, which will dictate how we identify the beneficiaries of this P12-billion funds. Again let us correct as early as now that this is not in any way the third tranche of SAP. This has different parameters and framework. This will now be the fund for assistance for individuals in crisis situation. We have existing guidelines and considering that this will now focus on the most affected communities, population or families of Covid-19, expect that there will be new memorandum circulars on how to identify and utilize this P12 billion fund under Bayanihan 2," Quintilla said.
The Regional Social Welfare and Development director also explained that depending on the memorandum circular to be released, previous recipients of the SAP may be eligible for assistance.
Baguio City Representative Marquez Go said once the bill is signed into law, the P12 billion will be used by the department as assistance for individuals in crisis brought about by the pandemic.
"After the enactment of the law that have been approved in both houses and signed by the President aside from the execution of guidelines by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) in how it will be executed, this will be released because the law is only good until December 31 this year and if this would not be used, this would go back to the national treasury. So I think within the next one month this would be implemented," Go said.
He said although this budget under Bayanihan 2 seems smaller compared to the entire country, the DSWD has its own system to identify individuals in crisis.
"Under normal conditions, the DSWD has its own system of distributing assistance to individuals in crisis like the acquisition of coffins for those needing one for example, or those wanting to go back to their home provinces but has no financial resources to go back home, those who are sick having a big amount to settle at the hospitals. The DSWD has a budget for this under normal conditions but this P12 billion budget is just an additional, and there will be guidelines that have to be followed which should be tightened since the fund is very limited and the persons that would identify the recipients would be the social workers," Go added.
The Bayanihan 2 Bill retains until September 30 the special powers Congress granted President Rodrigo Duterte through the first Bayanihan law which lapsed on June 5.