The Department of Social Welfare and Development said Tuesday, June 2, that it was eyeing to distribute the second tranche of the emergency subsidy program (ESP) this week after it failed to deliver on its promise of a May payout.
During a virtual press briefing on Tuesday, Social Welfare Secretary Rolando Bautista said that DSWD has already prepared the guidelines on the distribution of the second tranche of the ESP.
"Ninanais namin na maipamahagi ang ayuda sa linggong ito. Ngunit gusto natin na bigyang diin na napakahalaga ng ating validation process dahil matutukoy ng ahensiya kung sino ang hindi karapat dapat makatanggap ng emergency subsidy at mga nakakatanggap ng higit sa isang ayuda mula sa ibang ahensiya ng gobyerno," Bautista said.
(We aim to distribute the cash aid this week. But we would like to emphasize the importance of the validation process because the DSWD would able to know who the deserving beneficiaries are and those who are receiving more than one cash aid from the different agencies of the government.)
According to Bautista, the following areas will receive the 2nd tranche of the ESP based on the recommendation of the government coronavirus task force:
Bautista said that recipients from Albay province and Zamboanga City are also included in the second tranche based on the memorandum signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea on May 2.
Why the delay? The DSWD said it needs the liquidation report of all LGUs before it could complete its own validation because they were cross-checking if there were duplication of beneficiaries. The DSWD also has to check if beneficiaries were previously given assistance by other government cash aid programs.
DSWD spokesperson Irene Dumlao cited cases where the same name could appear in the liquidation reports of Quezon City and Baguio City.
"Say, LGU of Baguio submitted encoded list of beneficiaries and LGU of Quezon City did not submit yet. We cannot perform cross-matching thoroughly and there might be a possibility of duplication. We need to name-match to determine if [the person] in QC is same as the one in Baguio City," said Dumlao.
To date, Bautista said that 807 out of 1,634 LGUs have submitted liquidation reports.
Unlike in the first salvo of the cash aid, the distribution of the second tranche will no longer pass through the LGUs. The DSWD will be giving out the financial assistance electronically. For the remote and conflict-prone areas, the military would help in the cash distribution.
"Dahil gagamit tayo ng mas mabilis na pamamaraan at dahil mas pinaigting natin ang coordination, mas mapapabilis natin na maipapamigay ang subsidy program. Kasama nito ine-explore na rin natin ang paggamit ng digital payments para mas lalong mapablis ang pagbigay ng ayuda," Bautista said.
(Because we will be using a faster way and close coordination, we would be able to release the cash aid immediately. And we're also exploring the use of digital payment to hasten the distribution.)
The DSWD has yet to release its guidelines on the distribution of the second tranche of the cash aid.
On May 14, the DSWD and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) launched a mobile app to facilitate automated cash aid distributions for the ESP.
The app, called “ReliefAgad,” was developed due to challenges in the implementation of the first tranche of payouts for April.
The DSWD said these challenges included a lack of beneficiary data, the laborious process of collecting and encoding beneficiary information, and delays caused by manual cash distribution.
The department claimed the app will lead to faster cash relief. – Rappler.com