emergency subsidy program in PH

Over 119,000 cash aid forms not yet uploaded by LGUs – DSWD

Bonz Magsambol
The Department of Social Welfare and Development says it will not close its books on cash aid distribution until all target beneficiaries have received the assistance

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said that as of Friday, August 21, a total of 119,411 cash aid forms have not been uploaded by some local government units (LGUs) to its system, causing delays in the distribution of the second tranche of the government’s emergency subsidy program (ESP).

“As of press time, some 119,411 SAC forms still need to be uploaded while 167,537 beneficiaries are for validation,” the DSWD said in a statement.

As of Thursday, a total of 13,147,805 families of the 14.1 million beneficiaries have received their cash aid. Over 900,000 families were still waiting though for the promised financial relief as the DSWD failed to meet its self-imposed deadline on August 15.  

The DSWD said it would not close its books on ESP distribution until all target beneficiaries have been given the cash aid.

“To date, distribution of the second tranche of SAP is still ongoing and is nearing completion with 92% of its target beneficiaries already reached,” the DSWD said. 

The agency urged LGUs to “fast track their action and accomplish these concerns” to immediately facilitate the processing of the cash aid for the remaining beneficiaries.

More efficient distribution?

On April 28, DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista announced that the agency partnered with the Department of Information and Communications Technology to automate the distribution of the second tranche. 

In line with the promise to make the distribution of the May aid faster and more efficient, the DSWD launched the “ReliefAgad”  app to enable families with cash cards to register online.

Instead of transferring cash to LGUs, which allegedly caused anomalies, the agency’s funds would go straight to the Land Bank of the Philippines, to be disbursed by partner financial service providers like GCash and PayMaya.

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In a previous interview with Rappler, Sonny Africa, executive director of advocacy group IBON Foundation, said that changing the mechanism of distribution had created more problems. 

Africa questioned the government’s move to create a new system when it already had infrastructure during the first tranche. 

“If they were able to give the first tranche, they already have the infrastructure. So if their issue is who gets what, use the list. There’s no need to create a new one. If you have an existing infrastructure and you’re looking for the names of people, you can go back there,” Africa said. – Rappler.com


Bonz Magsambol

Bonz Magsambol is a multimedia reporter for Rappler, covering health, education, and social welfare. He first joined Rappler as a social media producer in 2016.