The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) urged beneficiaries of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) to use the financial assistance given to them properly by using it to buy basic needs.
DSWD Undersecretary for Special Concerns Camilo Gudmalin said Monday in a live-streamed conference via the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Facebook page that beneficiaries need to allocate their money for basic necessities like food and medicine.
“Nakakalungkot ang ganitong klaseng mga balita na sa gitna ng ating krisis ay merong hindi magandang paggamit sa subsidiya (It is sad that we see news reports that in the midst of this crisis, there are those who do not use the subsidy properly),” Gudmalin said.
As the government operates on the disbursement of the amelioration package, some beneficiaries were caught using the aid in gambling and illegal drugs.
On April 14, police arrested five men in Bacoor, Cavite after allegedly using the government’s financial aid in cockfighting and shabu.
According to reports, two of them qualified to receive the assistance, and were immediately disqualified.
“Itong subsidy ay para sa pangunahing pangangailangan pero kami ay naniniwala na kakaunti lang itong mga tao na ito. Karamihan ay ginagamit nang maayos ang natanggap nila (The purpose of this fund is so you can afford basic needs but we in DSWD believe that these kind of people are only few. Most of the people who received the cash assistance used it well),” Gudmalin added.
As of April 20, Landbank has released cash grants totaling PHP16.34 billion to 3,721,833 Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) household-beneficiaries nationwide.
Cash aid amounting to PHP3,650 to PHP6,650 per beneficiary was credited to their cash cards.
Together with the DSWD, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Land Transportation and Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), Landbank started distributing to 18,602 Transport Network Vehicle Service (TNVS) drivers in the National Capital Region amounting to PHP148.816 million with each driver receiving PHP8,000 to help them through these difficult times.
DSWD added that more than 4.7 million beneficiaries have already received the cash assistance. (Christine Cudis/PNA)