1.8 M WV folks to benefit from social amelioration program

By Jennifer P. Rendon 

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Region 6 projected that around 1.8 million people in Western Visayas will benefit from the government’s cash assistance program that aims to rebuild their lives amid the coronavirus pandemic.

May Rago-Castillo, DSWD-6 public information officer, said the DSWD national office assured the availability of funds for the Social Amelioration Program (SAP).

Castillo said they based their target beneficiaries on the existing database of persons deemed qualified for the program.

Earlier, local government units were already requested to submit the list of SAP beneficiaries.

The punong barangays are tasked to give out registration forms to qualified beneficiaries in his/her locality.

But Castillo said that the agency has not set any deadline for the submission of the form.

“April 3 is not a deadline from us. We did not set any deadline,” she said.

Castillo added, “ang amon ya is as soon as possible. May mga staff kami nga naga-guide kag coach sa mga local government units nga ma-comply nilaKun matapos nila in two days, or one, the better.”

After all, Castillo said they acknowledged that a lot of people need the amount immediately.

In Region 6, the qualified beneficiary is expected to get P6,000.

Included in the target 1.8 million beneficiaries are the more than 300,000 beneficiaries of the Conditional Cash Transfer Program, more commonly known as Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).

“In the case of 4Ps beneficiaries, it’s a top up amount. Meaning, if they get P2,000 under 4Ps, they would just received an additional of P4,000,” she said.

On top of the cash grant, 4Ps beneficiaries also enjoy rice subsidy and health grants.

But such won’t be the case of senior citizens. They would get the whole amount, on top of their full pension because “the matter is a right-based grant,” Castillo said.

The following are deemed eligible under the SAP:

* 4Ps Beneficiaries

* Informal economy workers

* Directly hired or occasional workers (labandera)

* Subcontracted workers

* Homeworkers

* Househelpers and family drivers

* Drivers of pedicab, tricycle, PUJs, PUVs, PUBs, taxi, and transport network companies registered vehicles

* Transport network vehicle service drivers (grab drivers)

* Micro-entrepreneurs and producers, operators of sari-sari stores

* Family enterprise owners (carenderia owners, fruit/vegetable vendors, RTW)

* Sub-minimum wage earners (dishwashers or helpers in carenderia)

* Farmers- not 4Ps and not covered by DA’s Soc. Amelioration Package

* Employees affected by “no work, no pay”

* Stranded workers

Also entitled are other households with members belonging to any of the vulnerable sectors:

* Senior Citizens

* Persons with disability

* Pregnant and lactating mothers

* Solo Parents

* Indigent Indigenous Peoples

* Underprivileged and homeless individuals

* Other members of the vulnerable sectors

Castillo did not comment on reports that Social Amelioration Card (SAC) forms won’t be required in transferring funds.

Instead, the local government units will just be required to pass the proposal and MOA, while the SAC will be sent later.

“We’re just waiting for guidelines on the release of fund under the SAP,” she said.