Local governments urged to step up efforts to identify poor families

Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo

THE Department of theInterior and Local Government (DILG) has ordered the local government units (LGUs) to fast track the identification of the poor families qualified to receive a monthly subsidy of P5,000 to P8,000 from the government for two months.

The government’s social amelioration program targets to help 18 million families, including the 4.4 million households benefiting from the conditional cash transfer program.

“Time is of the essence in this coronavirus crisis and the poor people who were ordered to stay at home and refrain from moving are the priority. The government assistance should reach the beneficiaries as soon as possible as the economy is on a standstill leaving millions of Filipinos with no source of employment or livelihood,” DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said in a statement.

"We must act fast to help our poor countrymen. I am directing all LGUs to produce a master list of the social amelioration programs' target beneficiaries at the earliest possible time for us be able to immediately address the needs of our countrymen," he added.

The social amelioration program (Sap) is one of the highlights of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, the law that Congress passed in a special session on March 23 to give President Rodrigo Duterte special powers to address the economic fallout from the Covid-19 outbreak.

Under the Sap, low-income families all over the country shall receive a special subsidy amounting to a mixture of food items and cash amounting to P5,000 to P8,000 a month for two months.

Año said the barangays will be distributing Social Amelioration Cards which will be filled up by the families to identify the beneficiaries to be able to come up with a master list.

The DILG chief reminded anew that no LGU or barangay should limit the beneficiaries to registered voters in their areas of jurisdiction. He said a Voter's ID is not a requisite for inclusion in the list.

He said "epal" signages or appendages crediting any local government official or bearing his name or image are also banned.

“Huwag na po sana nating gamitin ang krisis na ito pa sa politika. Malayo pa po ang eleksyon, let's devote our time and efforts in helping the people," Año said. (SunStar Philippines)