INTERIOR and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Ano has ordered the deployment of police officers and barangay watchmen to remittance centers distributing the second tranche of financial aid under the Special Amelioration Program (SAP 2) to ensure that health standards are strictly followed.
According to Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya, DILG offices have monitored long lines in some remittance centers, hence the need to practice simple instructions of social distancing and mandatory use of face masks while waiting for their claims.
Malaya said that Ano gave the directive to Joint Task Force COVID Shield Commander Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, the PNP’s Deputy Chief for Operations (DCO), for the immediate deployment of cops to maintain orderliness and discipline among the SAP 2 recipients.
“Our field offices have monitored long lines in some remittance centers, we advise them to practice social distancing at all times to protect themselves and their families. We are also urging the barangay to assign barangay tanods to remind the public of the minimum health standards together with the PNP,” he said.
SAP 2 beneficiaries are also encouraged to maximize the use of cashless transactions since financial service provider (FSP) platforms like GCash and PayMaya, through their mobile applications, can be used to purchase products.
“Kung puwedeng hindi na nila i-encash at dumiretso na sila sa mga grocery o botika na tumatanggap ng cashless transaction mas mabuti, mas walang contact. Mas protektado tayo sa virus,” he added.
But if the claimants insist on getting their assistance in cash, Malaya said they must still practice the health protocols to avoid transmission of the dreaded virus.
At the same time, the DILG directed the Pulis sa Barangay/Quarantine Rules Supervisor, the PNP’s COVID-19 focal person in the community, to supervise all barangay tanods to be deployed in remittance centers to ensure the implementation of minimum health standards to prevent COVID-19 transmission.
According to the DILG field offices, more than a million original and waitlisted family beneficiaries nationwide have received their emergency subsidy through electronic means through the efforts of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the local government units (LGUs) and the FSPs, and that the distribution is continuing daily.
Malaya said that with lessons learned from the distribution of the first tranche of SAP, the government, through the DSWD, devised strategies such as the use of FSPs to fast-track dissemination of the second batch of SAP. “We are expecting a less tedious distribution of SAP this time around dahil na din sa mga changes that we instituted this time around.”
The DILG and DWSD mutually agreed that SAP 2 will be disseminated through digital/electronic platforms and will only conduct manual distribution in rural and far-flung areas of the country.
Leading with most waitlisted beneficiaries receiving their aid is Region 3 with 156, 842 followed by Region 12 with 130,551; Region 6 with 99,954; 99,606 for Region 10; and National Capital Region (NCR) with 71,701.
On the other hand, Caraga tallied a total number of 43,416 wait-listed families; Region 5 with 34,246; Region 7 with 32,431; Region 1 with 21,577; Region 2 with 16,087; CAR with 10,215; CALABARZON with 9,722; Region 8 with 4,005; and, Region 9 with 57.
Meanwhile, 430,445 original beneficiaries from six regions previously under ECQ have also received their second tranche of financial aid according to DILG Secretary Año. Only limited regions of the country previously under ECQ are entitled to a 2nd tranche of the SAP.
The DILG official said that 201,983 of the original beneficiaries from Iloilo Province and Bacolod have received their second tranche of the SAP while in Benguet, a total of 100,646 were benefitted followed by Albay Province with 93,527; CALABARZON with 18,038; Cebu Province with 12,951; and, Pangasinan with 3,300.