Cezario Joel Espejo, DSWD-12 regional director, hands over P5,000 cash assistance under Social Amelioration Program to a beneficiary in Magsaysay village, Esperanza town in Sultan Kudarat province. (DSWD Photo)

KORONADAL CITY – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has released more than P2.1 billion funds intended for Social Amelioration Program (SAP) to 42 local government units (LGUs) in Central Mindanao.

This was announced Thursday by Cezario Joel Espejo, DSWD-12 regional director who claimed as of 8:00 p.m. of April 16, a total of P2, 129, 590, 000. 00 was wired to 40 of the 50 LGUs across the region.

The money, according to Dir. Espejo will benefit some 668,287 target beneficiaries considered the poorest people in the region.

These are households typically living in shanties made from dilapidated cardboards and rusting iron sheet roofings that have one family member who is a senior citizen, PWD, pregnant women, solo parent, overseas Filipino in distress, indigenous people, homeless citizen, farmer, fishermen, and self-employed. 

“The LGUs started the distribution of subsidies this week. I personally witnessed and led the distribution in Brgy. Magsaysay, Esperanza, Sultan Kudarat Province,” Dir. Espejo said.

Last month, authorities imposed a Luzonwide community quarantine, affecting the public land, domestic air, and domestic sea, including mass gatherings, were banned to cut COVID-19 transmission. The move was replicated by other LGUs outside Luzon as well.

To ease the effects of the enhanced community quarantine that is moving into its second month, the government has approved a P200 Billion funding that will primarily benefit the poorest of the poor sectors of society.

The agency, according to Dir. Espejo, has forged an agreement with LGUs to fast track the distribution of emergency assistance to its constituents within seven days upon receiving their allocation.

“We appreciate the efforts of our partners in the LGUs for smoothly facilitating and working hard for the immediate implementation of the SAP for their constituents” Dir. Espejo said.

Members of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries were also included as recipients for SAP, an intervention handled by the DSWD under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act (RA 11469) signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on March 25, 2020.

Aside from emergency subsidy allowance, the department continues to accept clients in need of support under Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) as well Family Food Packs augmentation to LGUs for Covid-19 related intervention. (JBM / DSWD)