A social worker is seen assisting the distribution of emergency subsidy allowance under Social Amelioration Program in President Quirino in Sultan Kudarat Province. (Photo by JBM / DSWD)

KORONDAL CITY – The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 12 (DSWD FO 12) will start validating on the ground grievances involving residents provided with financial assistance in connection with the implementation of Social Amelioration Program (SAP). 

This was announced Wednesday by DSWD-12 regional director Cezario Joel Espejo who said around 40 social workers will be deployed Thursday across the region to personally validate the lists of eligible and non-eligible families who were given cash assistance under 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 coronavirus pandemic.

According to Dir. Espejo, the team was briefed about the validation guidelines of SAP ahead of their deployment.

“We encouraged the people to voice out and report anomalies or irregularities concerning the SAP,” Dir. Espejo said.

Since the start of SAP distribution late last month, the agency, through its social media accounts, has been receiving complaints   specifically local officials lapses in assessing the qualifications of the recipients.

“It’s important to us to get the side of those complaining and listen to their grievances,” he added.

Jackiya Lao, division chief for disaster operation, is leading the task force, according to Dir. Espejo.

More than P2.6 Billion were already disbursed for the emergency subsidy allowance based on the latest data from the region tracker. 

The fund benefited 526, 891 poor families severely affected by the global coronavirus crisis.

To date, Dir. Espejo said 23 municipalities, Bagumbayan, Columbio, Senator Ninoy Aquino, Kalamansig, Tacurong City, Lambayong, Isulan, Esperanza, Lutayan, Lebak, and Palimbang, in Sultan Kudarat; Malapatan, Malungon, Maitum, Kiamba, Alabel, and Maasim in Sarangani Province have completed the distribution of SAP financial assistance to its constituents. 

The towns of T’boli and Tupi in South Cotabato; Alamada, Banisilan, Libungan and Aleosan in North Cotabato, also finished their distribution of assistance over the weekend. (JBM / DSWD)