KORONADAL CITY — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) bared Friday the list of individuals excluded from the government’s ongoing Social Amelioration Program (SAP) for the most affected households due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In this picture taken January 2020 shows local farmers in remote village of Lake Sebu, South Cotabato. (Photo by JBM / DSWD)

Among those not eligible for the emergency financial assistance include elected and appointed government officials; permanent, casual, contractual, coterminous, job order, Cost of Service and Memorandum of Agreement government employees; personnel in the local government units and those in government owned and controlled corporations.

At the same time, workers serving in the private sector, retired individuals currently receiving pension, and families with independent financial capacity consistent with the intent of SAP which is to provide only for those low-income families.  

Cezario Joel Espejo, DSWD-12 regional director, explained the list was based on the Omnibus Guidelines in the Implementation of Emergency Subsidy Program of DSWD under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act (RA 11469) signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on March 25.

“As much as possible, we want to help all families affected by the crisis but we have guidelines to follow where priority will be given to the poor and those who are considered informal economy workers,” Dir. Espejo explained.

The government earlier allotted P200 billion pesos for the SAP implementation that would primarily go to the 18 million poor households to help them through the crisis.

In Region 12, around 953, 853 households, including more than 246,000 in the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), were targeted as recipients for the program. The 4Ps beneficiaries, who have cash cards, have already received their grants earlier this week – P750 for health subsidy, P600 rice allowance as part of the 4Ps grants and additional P3,650 to complete the P5,000 assistance under the SAP of government.

“This is the first time the government created such intervention. We ask for the public’s patience. We hope to start the distribution of grants next week,” Dir. Espejo said, adding field workers have been closely coordinating with LGUs.

The guidelines cited that those qualified to receive the SAP are the most affected and poorest of the poor and one of the household’s family member belongs to the following: senior citizens, PWDs, pregnant women, solo parents, overseas Filipino in distress, indigenous peoples, homeless citizen, farmers, fishermen, and self-employed.

The SAP also covers those belonging to the informal economy sector such as directly hired or occasional workers, subcontracted workers, homeworkers, househelpers, drivers of PUJs, UVs, PUBs, Taxi, Pedicabs, tricycles, micro-entrepreneurs, family enterprise owners, stranded workers, employees affected by “no work, no pay policy”, farmers, fisherfolks, farm workers, and Sub Minimum wage earners. (JBM / DSWD)