GenSan allots initial P50-M for supplemental SAP

GENERAL SANTOS CITY – The city government has earmarked an initial PHP50 million for the provision of financial assistance to poor families not covered by the national government’s social amelioration program (SAP).

Mayor Ronnel Rivera said in a press briefing on Friday they have begun work on the mechanisms and identification of the potential beneficiaries of the initiative, aimed at supplementing the ongoing SAP rollout in the city.

He said the qualified families, who will be prioritized according to their status and needs, would receive emergency cash assistance of PHP5,000 each.

Under the SAP, the Department of Social Welfare and Development targeted a total of 111,029 of the estimated 169,000 families here as beneficiaries, with a funding of about PHP556 million.

The PHP50 million supplemental funding from the city government will cover an additional 10,000 families.

“The budget will possibly increase later on once we get the list of the qualified families,” Rivera said.

Lawyer Arnel Zapatos, the city administrator, said they were conducting field validations to clean up the current list of SAP beneficiaries in the city’s 26 barangays.

Zapatos said they were specifically determining family heads and other individuals who were not eligible but were still included in the list.

“We will use the revalidated list to finalize the qualified beneficiaries for the supplemental SAP,” he said.

The City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) has received numerous complaints regarding the supposed inclusion of non-eligible beneficiaries and taking the spot of those who were really in need of assistance.

Rebecca Magante, CSWDO head, said some of the beneficiaries might have withheld some information regarding their status during the earlier profiling.

The housing profile includes questions on the income and nature of work of the family head and other members, Magante said.

She cited as an example a government employee who listed his occupation as a tricycle driver and eventually came out qualified in the database.

“But the social amelioration cards indicated that a beneficiary can be charged if they withhold the right information. So we’re looking into that,” she said.

The City Legal Office said it would investigate and file the necessary charges against SAP recipients who were dishonest or did not provide the right information in their profiles. (PNA)



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