As the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) draws near their target date of completion for the second tranche of the social amelioration program (SAP) aid distribution, a number of beneficiaries rushed to payout centers to claim their cash assistance for fear that it might no longer be available after August 15.
In a virtual uSAP Tayo conference on Thursday, DSWD Secretary Joselito Bautista said the beneficiaries need not panic because the emergency subsidy wired to them will remain in their restricted bank accounts beyond the mid-August deadline set by the agency.
“The money will remain in their restricted transactional accounts. They can use it anytime. They can also perform digital transactions and purchase from establishments that accept electronic wallets as payment, they can also use it to pay water and electricity bills online. And they can withdraw it if they need cash, it will be there even after August 15),” he said.
Bautista said the August 15 deadline is just the DSWD’s targeted date of completion for the distribution of the SAP second tranche cash aid for the low-income families affected by the quarantine measures amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
He said the partner financial service providers (FSPs) have been engaging with their assigned local government units (LGUs) for a more coordinated approach in releasing the cash aid.
“To guarantee there will be security presence in the area to remind the beneficiaries to keep order and follow the minimum health standards of social distancing and the use of face masks while falling in line,” he said.
He reminded the beneficiaries that they have the option to use digital transactions if they do not want to wait in long lines at the payout centers.
“To avoid overcrowding, please only go to your payout centers at the scheduled date released by your respective FSPs,” he added.
As of August 12, the agency has distributed cash aid worth PHP74 billion to 12.25 million family beneficiaries. Each family received PHP5,000 to PHP8,000.
These include the more than 1.3 million Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4P’s) beneficiaries; more than 5.5 million low-income, non-4P’s families; more than 3 million waitlisted, low-income, non-4P’s beneficiaries nationwide; some 1.3 million waitlisted families in areas declared as under the enhanced community quarantine; and more than 115,000 drivers.
With only 14.1 million beneficiaries of the SAP 2 left, the agency is confident they can deliver the government assistance at the targeted August 15 deadline.