By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
Malacañang has ordered the inclusion of 5 million more eligible households to the second tranche of the social amelioration program (SAP) while retaining the original number of beneficiaries from the first tranche.
Through a memorandum issued on May 22, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea instructed the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to include 5 million more beneficiaries to the 12 million beneficiaries for the second tranche of the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
The beneficiaries would be subject to validation by concerned government agencies in coordination with the respective local government units involved.
However, Medialdea said that while it was only natural that most beneficiaries would come from those still living in areas under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), beneficiaries most affected by the continuing restrictions in the operations of certain industries in areas under the general community quarantine (GCQ) may still be considered for the second tranche.
Medialdea, meanwhile, instructed the DSWD to coordinate with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the National Privacy Commission (NPC) to expedite the creation of the online portal containing the list of eligible household beneficiaries of the SAP.
The palace official said this is to promote transparency and to ensure the public that only those eligible will receive the emergency financial subsidy.The list shall include the following details about the beneficiaries:
- Amount they received
- Specific program under which they received the government assistance
Aside from the AICS, the government has several social amelioration programs to those affected by the quarantine:
- Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE’s) COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) for Affected Formal Workers
- DOLE’s CAMP Abot-Kamay and Pagtulong (AKAP) for Displaced OFWs
- DOLE’s Tulong Panghanapbuhay para sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD)
- Department of Agriculture’s (DA’s) Financial Subsidy for Rice Farmers (FRSF) program
- Department of Finance’s (DOF’s) Small Business Wage Subsidy (SBWS) Program
“[This is] to enable the public to have the opportunity to verify the entitlements of the recipients,” Medialdea wrote in his memorandum.
The online portal will also include a mechanism to receive feedback from the public to assist the government in assessing its performance in delivering the assistance, determining whether an investigation against specific persons, and identifying persons and areas that were not covered.