Government urged to continue giving out SAP, aid to beneficiaries in GCQ areas

Government urged to continue giving out SAP, aid to beneficiaries in GCQ areas

Manila, Philippines – Former Anakpawis Party-list Former Representative Ariel “Ka Ayik” Casilao urged the government to continue the distribution of financial aid under the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) to qualified beneficiaries in areas under the General Community Quarantine or GCQ.

The economic situation in ECQ and GCQ are the same. Millions are currently affected with loss of income due to the lockdown. According to Ibon Foundation, there are still some 1.3 million beneficiaries, or one out of three target SAP beneficiaries in Luzon GCQ areas have not received any cash aid as of April 29.

‘Even if the restrictions will be relaxed under the GCQ areas, the government must not relax on providing aid to the affected population, mostly poor sectors in lockdown areas. Particular government agencies must address the massive public complaint on its snail-pace delivery of goods and services,” Casilao said.

He also said that the government is already preparing for the 2nd tranche of financial aid but the DSWD, in its latest report on SAP distribution claimed that over 11.6 million poor families out of the 18 million households targeted SAP recipients or 64.5% have been served. “This accomplishment report looks good in figures but the actual situation is very different. Millions of low-income families have not yet received any financial aid from the government. Worse, the implementation of SAP is marred with varying irregularities particularly in the selection of beneficiaries, doubling of names of beneficiaries in lists, very rigid and unjust requirements that disqualify the masses of farmers, workers, urban poor, indigenous peoples, in the distribution of cash aid. The dismal distribution of SAP further burdened the already suffering population.

“Billions of public fund have been released for the SAP. Now, we ask this question, where is the money? Full accountability and transparency is imperative. Saan talaga napunta ang pera? The government is obligated to report to the public even to the last centavo.”

“Anakpawis urges the public to further demand the speedy and inclusive distribution of SAP to all recipients under the ECQ and GCQ areas mostly to poverty-stricken communities. The DSWD and LGUs must stop making excuses on the snail-pace SAP distribution,” Casilao ended. ###

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