'Mabagal talaga': Palace admits slow distribution of second tranche of SAP

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 20 2020 03:57 PM

Residents receive cash assistance as part of the government's Social Amelioration Program in Malibay in Pasay City on May 1, 2020. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Malacañang admitted Monday that it found the distribution of the second tranche of COVID-19 cash aid under the government's social amelioration program (SAP) to be slow.

Only 3,371,494 families out of the target 18 million families have received the second round of cash aid so far, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.

This is equivalent to P20.1 billion distributed out of the P100-billion budget for the aid, he said.

"Mabagal po talaga. Masasabi ko po na nabagalan din ang Palasyo sa proseso ng pangalawang tranche," Roque said in a Palace press briefing.

(It's really slow. I can say that the Palace also found the distribution of the second round of cash aid to be slow.)

Under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, which expired last month, each beneficiary will receive cash aid ranging from P5,000 to P8,000 twice, supposedly for the months of April and May, based on minimum wage rates in the region.

But with nearly 2 weeks left before July ends, the Department of Social Welfare and Development has yet to finish distributing the aid even as it tapped digital wallets for the program.

"Maraming dahilan po ang sinasabi ng DSWD. Pero tinatanggap po namin ang deklarasyon ng DSWD na 'di matatapos ang July na hindi mabibigay ang kabuuan ng ayuda maliban doon sa mga walang access sa internet," he said.

(The DSWD cited many reasons. But we accept their declaration that they would not let the month of July end without finishing the distribution of cash aid except for those without internet access.)

Aside from 5 million additional families, poor families in Benguet, Metro Manila, Southern Tagalog Region, Central Luzon (except Aurora province), Pangasinan, Albay Province, Zamboanga City, Iloilo, Cebu Province, Bacolod City, and Davao City are entitled to the second tranche of cash aid, the DSWD earlier said.

“Ang sabi po ng DSWD, hanggang katapusan lang po ng Hulyo and the Palace will hold DSWD to that,” Roque said of the agency's target to complete the distribution of the cash aid.

(The Palace will hold DSWD to their promise to finish the cash aid distribution until the end of July.)