KORONADAL CITY – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) announced Monday it has discovered a hundred more cases where a recipient of the central government’s Social Amelioration Program (SAP) received multiple financial assistance, a violation that might send them to prison.

Cezario Joel Espejo, DSWD-12 regional director, said around 109 beneficiaries, all covered by the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) from the towns of Aleosan, Pigkawayan, Banisilan in North Cotabato; and Bagumbayan in Sultan Kudarat; despite receiving their SAP directly through their cash cards, claimed the assistance intended for non-4Ps beneficiaries.

Five other non-4Ps recipients from different barangays in the towns of Tantangan and Koronadal City in South Cotabato have received SAP assistance twice.

The latest findings, according to Dir. Espejo, is part of the initial result from the region’s locally developed application used to track and verify SAP beneficiaries, including their vital information such as names, photographs and their complete address.

The 109 4Ps alleged violators received SAP subsidy through their Land Bank of the Philippines cash cards before showing up in payouts where they also claimed similar assistance.  

The DSWD FO XII is currently conducting validation and cross-matching of the masterlists submitted by the local government units. The process allows the agency individuals who may have abused the government’s program.  

“Once proven guilty, they might be suspended or removal from the 4Ps, face perjury and estafa charges,” Dir. Espejo stressed.

Citing the guidelines of the SAP implementation, the claimants violated the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act (RA 11469), a law signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on March 25, 2020 to ease the effects of enhanced community quarantine imposed by authorities as part of hard-line measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Last week, the agency also exposed five people from the towns of Tupi and Lake Sebu in South Cotabato over the same offense.

“Our crackdown against multiple claimants is ongoing. We will make sure they will be dealt accordingly,” he said.  

Since last month, more than P3.3 Billion or 98. 82 percent were already disbursed for the emergency subsidy allowance based on the agency’s updated report as of May 18, benefiting around 663, 966 poor families region-wide.

The SAP is a program where the agency is at the forefront to support authorities’ hard-line measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic by providing social services to the poor and severely-affected people. (JBM / DSWD)