Several local government units are racing against time to beat the deadline for submitting families' names to the list of beneficiaries of the government's social amelioration program.
The government has added five million more families to its initial list of 18 million families eligible to receive cash assistance form the government amid the COVID-19 crisis.
According to Sandra Aguinaldo’s 24 Oras report on Wednesday, officials in Barangay Pinagbuhatan in Pasig City were cramming the encoding of the families who were not able to receive the first tranche of the cash aid.
The list was supposed to be finished on Wednesday, May 20, because the master list should be in the hands of the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Department of the Interior and Local Government on Thursday, May 21.
“Nag-coordinate na po kami sa mga homeowners' [association] presidents na ilista po yung mga member nila na ‘di nakakuha ng DSWD or DOLE [assistance], pero siyempre po ‘yong mga kwalipikado lang,” Barangay Pinagbuhatan chairman Maricar Vivero said.
In Batasan Hills, Quezon City, local government officials are also trying to finish the encoding in time for the deadline.
“Mayroon po tayong mga encoder sa mga barangay na kumukuha ng mga pangalan from our community leaders coming from president ng ating mga subdividion. Ito’y dino-double check ng ating mga tao,” Barangay Batasan Hills secretary Edwin Misolas said.
Around 18 million low-income households and those in the informal sector were targeted to receive monthly cash subsidies amounting to P5,000 to P8,000 for two months as mandated by the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act (Republic Act 11469).
President Rodrigo Duterte later approved the recommendation of the government’s COVID-19 task force to add five million more families to the list of beneficiaries.
The government said the five million will include those who were initially left out of the list of beneficiaries of the DSWD and the LGUs.
“Kaya kinakailangan nating makita ‘yong mga listahan na ipepresenta sa atin o isusumite ng mga local government units. Napakahalaga na makita natin, hindi lang ‘yong mga numero, pero ‘yon ding mga pangalan. Kinakailangan kasi na i-cross match natin itong mga pangalan doon sa existing list or database of beneficiaries ng iba pa nating mga programa o serrbisyo,” DSWD spokesperson Irene Dumlao said.
In the memorandum circular from the DILG, those who were new residents and senior citizens with pensions below P8,000 are included in the additional beneficiaries.
“‘Yong pamilya po ay kailangan, informal sector. Ibig pong sabihin ay walang regular na trabaho. Tricycle or jeepney driver or nagtatrabaho sa palengke. ‘Yong mga arawan. You must be a low-income family. Ibig mo sabihin, mahirap,” DILG undersecretary Jonathan Malaya,” added.
The DILG also asked all barangay officials to post the lists on their social media accounts or outside their offices where residents can see them.
“Hindi po tumitigil ang DILG at PNP sa pag-iimbestiga ng mga katiwalian tungkol sa social amelioration program. As of yesterday, mayroon po tayong 23 barangay officials na hinabla ng kasong kriminal,” Malaya said. — Ma. Angelica Garcia/BM, GMA News