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DSWD: Denying cash aid to families of those who used SAP for liquor, gambling is unfair

Beneficiaries of the social amelioration program (SAP) who used their cash aid to gamble, buy liquor and fund illegal activities amid the COVID-19 pandemic will not be excluded in the second tranche of SAP distribution, Social Welfare and Development Secretary Rolando Bautista said Thursday.

Bautista was referring to the cash grant ranging from P5,000 to P8,000 per month for two months computed based on the prevailing regional minimum wage rates.

“Nakakalungkot po na may mga ganyang gawain, pero ang pagkakamali po ng isang miyembro ng pamilya ay hindi po dapat makaapekto sa ibang miyembro ng pamilya na nangangailangan,” Bautista said in a virtual presser.

“Iyong nagkamali po sa pamilya, siya lang po dapat ang may pananagutan, dahil iyong ibang kamag-anak po niya ay nangangailangan ng tulong sa panahon ng krisis na ito,” Bautista added.

As for the beneficiaries of the Conditional Cash Transfer program for the poorest families who also received SAP aid in additional to their CCT benefit but used the money for vices and illegal activities, Bautista said that they will undergo sessions with case management officers.

“Mayroon pong magiging intervention [para sa kanila],” Bautista added.

In closing, Bautista appealed to the beneficiaries to spend their cash grant on basic needs such as food and medicines.

During the first week of May, President Rodrigo Duterte said that the social amelioration cash grant should be given to the wives instead to ensure that this will be spent on food and other basic necessities.

Luzon has been placed under enhanced community quarantine from March 16 to May 15, a measure that banned mass transport and prevented mass gathering, resulting in work stoppage in many industries.

Quarantine measures have been eased since May 16, with 50% to 75% of the workforce per company now allowed to physically report back to work.

Mass transport, however, remains prohibited in Metro Manila where most of the COVID-19 cases are, leaving workers no option but to walk or hitch their way to work. — Llanesca T. Panti/BM, GMA News