The national government’s social amelioration program that involves the distribution of P5,000 in cash assistance to poor families has targeted 195,000 beneficiary households all over Palawan, excluding Puerto Princesa City.
Eric Aborot, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Palawan field officer, told Palawan News all 22 municipalities in Palawan, except Kalayaan town, will be receiving a total of P388 million to be distributed among “low-income families” including beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program (4Ps).
“Nadownload na namin itong para sa amelioration program estimated at P388 million. Hopefully this week ay mabibigay na natin. Lahat ito ay nadownload na except Kalayaan kasi may mga hinihintay pang transmittal from the island pero to follow na ‘yan,” he said.
For Puerto Princesa City, the DSWD earlier said there are 45,055 family beneficiaries out of over 60,000 city households that applied.
The southern towns of Balabac, Bataraza, Brooke’s Point, Sofronio Española, El Nido, and Narra have scheduled to start the distribution this current week.
In Sofronio Española, some 5,000 families (including 4Ps and non-4Ps) have been approved out of 9,900 applications.
“We are expecting Wednesday or Thursday ay madi-distribute na natin ito (P11 million) sa lahat ng beneficiaries,” said Grace Dela Torre, Sofronio Española MSWD officer.
A total of P22 million was allocated to El Nido town, which has initially processed some 4,033 families.
“Inaayos pa ng treasurer’s office, ang nangyari kasi, hinati ng national government ang P22 million, inuna muna ibigay ang P19,480,000. Iyon pa lang ang natatanggap pero inaayos na rin ito. Ipamimigay na naming sa mga qualified beneficiaries ang P19,480,000 habang inaayos pa ang remaining,” said Kurt Acosta, El Nido information officer.
Balabac town received some P15 million to be distributed among 3,165 qualified beneficiaries.
The SAP would last for two months, based on the guidelines set by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and the Department of Finance (DOF).
“First tranche for April pa lang itong P5,000. For example, ma-lift ang ECQ after April 30, hindi naman natin inaasahan na makakabalik na agad sa normal na pamumuhay ang mga tao, kaya may tulong pa din sila sa May,” Aborot added.
Aborot pointed out that the cash aid “is not for everyone” and that the applications were processed based on the matrix set through the joint memorandum circular (JMC) issued by the national inter-agency task force (IATF).
Low-income families were prioritized including those who fall under any of the following categories: 4Ps recipient; senior citizens with no monthly pension; persons with disability (PWD); pregnant women or those who had recently given birth; distressed overseas Filipino workers (OFW); urban poor or those who have no house; and informal workers such as tricycle drivers, helpers, or vendors.
He also clarified that those who will receive social amelioration from DSWD will no longer be qualified to receive from other government programs such as the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and Department of Agriculture (DA).
4Ps beneficiaries need not fill out the SAP form as the cash assistance will be credited directly to their cash cards.
“Kasama na dyan ang mga 4Ps beneficiaries, hindi na nila kailangan mag-fill up ng form kasi ilalagay na direct sa mga ATM cards nila. Meron ng mga informal workers ang nag-apply noon sa DOLE. Halimbawa, doon sila nabilang, hindi na sila makakatanggap sa DSWD,” he said.
Palawan has recorded some 78,000 families under 4Ps.
Aborot also said that families who are not included in the beneficiary may file an appeal before the local welfare office three days after the payout.
“’Yong mga hindi mabibigyan na sa tingin nila ay talagang qualified sila ay pwede silang magfile ng appeal nila sa kanilang MSWD para mahingian ng pondo sa national. Pero, hindi agad-agad ‘yon kasi hihingi pa tayo ng pera,” Aborot added.
(With reports from Genn Magdayao, Romar Miranda, Patricia Laririt, and Ruil Alabi)