DSWD chief says P100-B distributed to 4Ps for COVID-19 crisis, admits gaps for others

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 09 2020 02:05 AM

MANILA - The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has distributed P100 billion in cash to beneficiaries of the government's Pantawid ng Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) to help them during the COVID-19 crisis, its chief said early Thursday.

DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista said in a press briefing with President Duterte past midnight that his department distributed the amount to 4Ps members in a matter of 3 to 5 days beginning last Friday. 

"Hindi po tayo masyado nagkaroon ng problema na 'to, dahil we have a credible list being kept by the DSWD. And from time to time, itong mga benepisyaryo na 'to, ay naka-tanggap ng cash assistance every month, so hindi po tayo nagkaproblema dito," Bautista said. 

He added that transport group beneficiaries, who were forced to stop working due to the suspension of public transport, were also included in the DSWD's distribution for 4Ps members.

DSWD field offices were also given P80 million funds each for the government's social amelioration program, said Bautista. The subsidies, ranging from P5,000 to P8,000, will be distributed in cash to families as part of the P200-billion social amelioration program.

"Nung natanggap po nila ang amount na P80 million, ay dito na po nakipag-coordinate sa mga local government units (LGU)...para po i-transfer po natin ang pondo sa kanilang LGU," Bautista said, adding that military and police personnel will help in implementing the social amelioration program.

Bautista admitted they had problems with the program since the DSWD has no list of social amelioration beneficiaries. He added that they thought LGUs would come up with the list since they have a profile of their constituents.

"Dahil hindi po di rin nila kabisado, o sabihin natin na may kakulangan sa mga listahan na 'yon, dito na po nagkaroon ng problema," he said.

However, Bautista said they were able to identify the "gaps and shortcomings" in the social amelioration program with the help of LGUs.

"Hopefully in due time, we will be able to distribute the cash amelioration systematically and orderly."

Guidelines released by the DSWD on the social amelioration program state that families entitled to the cash grant will be approached by representatives of their respective local government units.

Among those entitled to government aid are the elderly, homeless Filipinos, "no work, no pay" workers, farmers and fishermen, and drivers of public utility vehicles.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, chairman of the National Task Force on COVID-19, meanwhile told the public not to worry because government is looking for solutions to problems that have come up. 

"'Wag po kayo mag-alala, at kami po nandoon ng araw-araw, 24 hours a day."