By Joseph B.A. Marzan
Residents of Iloilo province are part of the second batch that will receive cash support under the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) Social Amelioration Program (SAP).
In a press briefing on May 27, 2020, DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista assured Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. that the province was included in the list of areas that will receive the additional SAP grant under Republic Act No. 11469 (Bayanihan to Heal as One Act).
“Actually, the giving of the second tranche of the [SAP] is based on [Executive Order No.] 112 and it was mentioned there, the regions and the provinces that will be receiving [another] SAP, and Iloilo is included in the provinces which will continue to distribute SAP grants for the second tranche,” Bautista said.
Bautista cleared the misconception that only areas in the country which remain under the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) are eligible for the SAP.
He said areas placed under ECQ on May 1 via President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order (EO) No. 112, issued on April 30, are eligible to receive SAP grants.
“There has been a bit of a misconception because there were ECQ areas mentioned for the past days, actually three places, but these were not the bases for the downloading of the SAP’s second tranche,” he said.
Iloilo province was placed under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) since May 16.
The SAP is an inter-agency program spearheaded by the DSWD to help qualified Filipinos deal with the economic effects of the ECQ due to the growing threat of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Governor Defensor said that he was “relieved” by Secretary Bautista’s assurance.
“When we transitioned from ECQ to GCQ, we had doubts if we were included in the second batch [of the SAP] because there was word going around that if we shifted to GCQ, then we would lose eligibility. So I felt relieved when Secretary Rolly Bautista answered my query this morning,” he said.
The governor said that he had no information yet as to how much is allocated for the province and how many residents will qualify.