Pilot payout at Marcos village for additional ESP-SAP beneficiaries. Photo courtesy of Mabalacat City LGU
MABALACAT CITY – The Department of Social Welfare and Development started distributing aid to additional beneficiaries of the Emergency Subsidy Program-Social Amelioration Program (ESP-SAP) in Central Luzon.
DSWD regional director Marites Maristela said 187 qualified families received financial aid during the pilot pay out in Marcos Village here.
“In Central Luzon, an estimated 482,000 to 485,000 families will be counted among ESP-SAP’s additional beneficiaries. We are continuously validating and finalizing the clean list of additional beneficiaries who were not included in the first tranche distribution,” she said.
DSWD is in talks with service providers and remittance centers to accelerate pay-out in areas where digital payments are within reach.
“Direct pay-out will only be done in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas wherein digital payment schemes are not accessible,” Maristela said.
DSWD Undersecretary Mark Allan Jay Yambao disclosed that they are still planning the distribution of the second tranche grant to avoid problems they experienced in the first tranche distribution. He said they are still verifying the names of beneficiaries to avoid duplication.
The DSWD urged local officials to set aside politics and the public to exercise compassion to ensure that only qualifi ed families will be given aid.
They also suggested that local governments always update the list of low-income families in their area to facilitate identifying eligible recipients of various government aid.
Mayor Crisostomo Garbo, for his part, thanked the national government for choosing the city as the pilot pay out area for the program.
“I would like to tell the national government that I would just heed to the call of the President in support of various programs that will put an end to this pandemic,” Garbo said.
Meanwhile, Erwin Lansang, one of the beneficiaries, also expressed gratitude for the aid received.
“This financial assistance is really a big help for those like me who lost their job since the lockdown. As a member of the indigenous peoples who relies solely on foods from the mountains to feed my family, this aid is a big help so that we can buy rice and other foods that we can eat,” Lansang said.