NegOr mayors seek clarification on 2nd tranche of SAP cash aid

The mayors of Negros Oriental passed a resolution seeking clarification from national government why local government units downgrading to general community quarantine (GCQ) can no longer receive the second tranche of emergency cash subsidies under the Social Amelioration Program (SAP).

The mayors raised their concerns during the recent consultation and harmonization meeting on the implementation of GCQ guidelines with provincial Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-EID).

While the province is preparing for the lifting of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to go back to GCQ, Pamplona Mayor Janice Vallega-Degamo reacted on the announcement of the national government that emergency cash assistance for the second tranche will no longer be received but will be given to families in Metro Manila and areas that remain under lockdown.

The mayors cited their concern that the memorandum of agreement they signed with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is for two tranches or releases good for two months (April and May).

They expected to receive the second release of fund subsidies in May after the distribution of cash assistance is completed for the first tranche to end on April 30.

“This amelioration, I find it very challenging. We feel sorry for the mayors and barangay captains, and it pains us because we may be accused of corruption when not everyone would receive the amelioration for the second tranche in May,” said Degamo.

“The first tranche was downloaded, but the second one not yet.  And if the second amelioration will not be downloaded what will happen to the MOA we signed?” asked Degamo.

It was noted that the national government ordered local government units (LGUs) to complete the SAP distribution before or on deadline or be charged with dereliction of duty.

Earlier, Pres. Rodrigo Duterte approved the extension of the ECQ in Metro Manila, the Southern Tagalog and Central Luzon regions, Mindoro island, and the provinces of Pangasinan, Benguet, Catanduanes, and Albay until May 15.

Other areas not included in the lockdown extension will be placed under GCQ where some restrictions will be relaxed.

The government has allocated more than P1.5 billion for 250,021 low-income families in Negros Oriental for the month of April while the ECQ was still in effect in the province.

The beneficiaries have received subsidies of P6,000 per household for the month of April.

As of April 28, based on DSWD’s record, the distribution of accomplishment in Negros Oriental showed only 49.07 percent of beneficiaries have received the cash aid with P736,098,000 having been disbursed.

The municipalities of Manjuyod and Vallehermoso have paid out 100 percent to its beneficiaries; Jimalalud, Mabinay, and Basay distributed more than 90 percent already; Amlan, Dauin, Bayawan City, Valencia, Bindoy, Santa Catalina, Tayasan, Canlaon City, La Libertad, and Ayungon disbursed more than 50 percent of the allocated funds; while other towns and cities are catching up to complete the distribution of emergency cash subsidies to its beneficiaries. (jct/PIA7 Negros Oriental)