SAP payout in Samal. Photos by Ernie Esconde
BALANGA CITY — Social workers in Bataan on Thursday were rushing the distribution of the financial assistance of P6,500 for each beneficiary of the government’s Social Amelioration Program but could not still meet the deadline set on the same day.
A report from the provincial office of the Philippine Information Agency showed that as of Wednesday night, out of the 96,668 beneficiaries in Bataan approved and included in the program by the Department of Social Welfare and Development, only a mere 14,602 have received the payout.
In Samal town, distribution went smoothly on Thursday in Barangay West Calaguiman with social distancing strictly followed.
But Mercedes Cuenca, chief of Samal municipal social welfare and development office, said they could not still meet the deadline despite their best efforts.
Of the 4,496 SAP beneficiaries in the town, they have so far made payouts only to less than 300 in four of 14 barangays, she said.
“Ang deadline ngayon mabigat para sa amin kaya nag-request kami ng extension,” Cuenca said, citing May 8,even as they were doing their best to complete payments earlier.
“Paspasan ang ginagawa namin. Sabay ang validation at payout. Kung ano na-validate, posting agad at payroll kaagad. Pagkatapos, payout na,” Cuenca noted.
She said that they have long conducted orientation in the villages and distributed application forms but there was delay in the submission to their office.
“Medyo na-delay kasi submission ng mga barangay nagsabay-sabay ngayong week na ito. Hindi namin kinaya. Ngayon lang week na ito nagsabay-sabay. Hindi namin kakayanin i-validate dahil iilan lang tao namin,” Cuenca explained.
Hazel Urbano, barangay secretary of West Calaguiman, said there are 370 families in their barangay but they have submitted 203 families as those needing immediate financial assistance.
“Bale 112 families lang ang inaprobahan ng DSWD,” she said.
The social welfare officer said beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) are not included in the SAP which was put up to assist those whose means of livelihood were lost due to the enhanced community quarantine.