March 24, 2023

The Department of Social Welfare and Development-Cordillera is ready to roll out the Social Amelioration Package (SAP), a program that aims to provide financial aid to those affected by the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) due to the coronavirus disease-2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

DSWD-Cordillera Director Leo Quintilla said the fund for the vulnerable sectors has been downloaded already to the regional agency.

Quintilla, however, said the money could not yet be distributed to the beneficiaries because the DSWD is still waiting for the list from the local government units.

Cordillera was allotted P1.3 billion, which is intended for 300,000 target beneficiaries in the region. Qualified SAP beneficiaries will receive P5,500 in April and another P5,500 in May.

Under the SAP, the LGUs, through the barangays together with representatives from the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the city or municipal social welfare and development offices will go house-to-house to identify vulnerable sectors.

The vulnerable sectors include the Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries, families with solo parents, senior citizens, persons with disability, and workers in the informal sector whose sources of income has been cut due to the ECQ.

Each family will be given a SAP form, which will be filled by the head of the family. The SAP assistance is per family basis, which means that a household can have more than one beneficiary if it has more than one qualified family beneficiary.

Quintilla said the role of the barangay officials in identifying the SAP beneficiaries is critical because the list that they will submit will be the DSWD’s basis in allocating the fund for the municipalities and cities.

He added not every family will benefit from the SAP.

“The SAP will only be for those mostly affected by the ECQ, those who do not have a source of income because they cannot go to work,” he said during the online press briefing on SAP on April 3.

Quintilla said the cash assistance will be given to the qualified families once their local government units have already submitted the proposals to the DSWD.

He said the DSWD will have control over the funds, not the LGUs.

The qualified beneficiaries should wait in their homes because the cash assistance will be delivered to their doorsteps once the LGUs have completed the process or submitted the proposals to the DSWD.

For the Pantawid beneficiaries, the cash assistance under the SAP will be deposited to the Landbank or Philippine Veterans Bank, from where they are withdrawing their usual cash aid.

Quintilla asked the public to be patient and should not complain if beneficiaries in other towns have already received their SAP cash assistance because the distribution depends on how soon the LGUs identify the beneficiaries in their areas of jurisdiction.

“Some LGUs have completed identifying the beneficiaries and they already submitted the proposals to us. Others are already printing the SAP forms,” he said.

The DILG-Baguio has asked residents not to accuse their barangay officials of corruption if they did not yet receive the aid because the money is not automatically downloaded to the barangays. – Jane B. Cadalig