Act fast on cash aid, LGUs prodded

April 04, 2020

NOW that the financial assistance for the COVID-19 crisis has already been released, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) urged local government units (LGUs) to immediately assist the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in distributing the fund to poor families.

The national government has tapped DSWD as lead agency in the distribution of cash or the so-called Social Amelioration Program (SAP) Bayanihan Fund across the country.

Families may get P5,000 to P8,000 cash support as a result of the lockdown aimed at slowing down the spread of the corona virus that has now become a pandemic and a global concern.

According to DILG Secretary Eduardo Ano, the LGUs must speed up the processing of papers that will serve as pass for the residents to receive the financial assistance.

“Nakahanda na ang tulong pinansyal para sa mga mahihirap na pamilyang apektado ng krisis kaya paspasan na ninyo ang pagsubmit ng mga requirements para kahit paano ay maibsan na ang paghihirap ng ating mga kababayan,” he said.

As deputized agents of the DSWD, all LGUs according to the DILG chief, must expedite the distribution, collection, and encoding of the SAP forms of qualified beneficiaries for immediate submission to the DSWD field office in their locality.

The government yesterday released the first wave of financial assistance amounting to a total of P6.096 million to 762 low-income families in Brgy. Vitalez, District 1, Parañaque City.

Under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, a total of P200 billion was allocated as SAP Bayanihan Fund or financial aid to 18 million low-income families all over the country who shall receive a special financial subsidy amounting to P5,000 to a maximum of P8,000 a month depending on the minimum wage of the particular region.

Among the target beneficiaries of the special programs are low income families with senior citizens; persons with disability; pregnant and lactating women; solo parents; overseas Filipinos in distress; indigent Indigenous Peoples; underprivileged sector and homeless citizens; and informal economy workers.

The assistance which comes from the government's social amelioration programs is designed to assist them during the existing enhanced community quarantine (ECQ). Non-residents who are stranded can also be listed as beneficiaries.

Upon receipt of the masterlist from the LGU, DSWD shall review it and will release the corresponding cash aid to the recipients with the help of the LGU and barangay.

“Nakasalalay sa mga kamay ng LGU kung gaano kabilis matatanggap ang ayuda mula sa national government.  Kaya bilisan ninyo ang kilos para matanggap na ng mga mamamayan ang inaasahan nilang tulong,” Ano said.

The cash assistance will be distributed house-to-house by representatives from the DILG, Philippine National Police, DSWD, the LGU and the barangays.

“Hindi na ninyo kailangan pang umalis sa bahay ninyo at ang gobyerno mismo ang kakatok sa inyong pintuan para ihatid ang pera sa inyong mga tahanan,” he said.

The DILG Secretary also commended Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez for quick action in complying with the requirements of the DSWD which led to the fast release of the funds to the city.  “Dahil sa mabilis na aksyon ng LGU ng Parañaque, nauna ang mga residente sa kanilang lugar na makatanggap ng financial assistance mula sa pamahalaan,” he said.

DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said the P200-billion Bayanihan Fund is the biggest assistance package to poor families in the history of the country. “Batid po ng pamahalaan ang sakrispisyo at paghihirap ng ating mga kababayan. Sa tulong ng cash assistance na inyong matatanggap, sana po ay maitawid ninyo ang pangangailangan ng inyong pamilya,” he said.