By Jennifer P. Rendon
Two towns in Iloilo were cited as among the best performing local government units (LGUs) in the distribution of the government’s emergency subsidy program in Western Visayas.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-6 identified the towns of Anilao and Maasin during a virtual press conference on Wednesday.
Rhea Peñaflor, DSWD Assistant Secretary for Specialized Programs, explained that the two towns have released at least 80 percent of their allocated Social Amelioration Program (SAP) grant.
SAP is the national government’s assistance to families hit by the COVID-19 crisis.
Maasin released 99.60 percent for 6,033 beneficiaries. The total amount paid was P36.198 million.
Anilao scored an 87.04 percent performance covering 3,641 beneficiaries.
Five towns in Antique province made it to the list – Anini-y (80.44 percent, 2,114 beneficiaries); Belison, 100 percent with 1,876 beneficiaries); Culasi, 95.88 percent with 4,660 beneficiaries); Laua-an, 94.99 percent with (2,998 beneficiaries); and Valderrama, 97.77 percent with 1,494 beneficiaries).
In Guimaras, only the town of Sibunag scored 91.72 percent with 1,762 beneficiaries.
Negros Occidental has three LGUs in the performing list. These are Candoni, 98.91 percent for 2,912 beneficiaries; Don Salvador Benedicto, 96.18 percent with 2,744 beneficiaries; and Talisay City, 85.47 percent with 13,662 beneficiaries.
Peñaflor encouraged other LGUs to hasten the distribution of SAP grant.
“To all the LGUs, we commend your efforts in being with us in this program,” she said.
Meanwhile, DSWD regional director Ma. Evelyn Macapobre cited LGUs that resorted to door-to-door SAP distribution.
“This is an effective strategy to practice social distancing. But we also acknowledged that not all can do it,” she said.
For LGUs that could not conduct door-to-door distribution, Macapobre said they could do it in small groups and they should still wear masks; the recipients must be 6 feet apart during the pay-out, and a washing area must be provided.
As of 12 p.m. on April 22, Macapobre said 59 of the 133 LGUs (44.36 percent) in Western Visayas have already started their pay-outs.
A total of 138,647 beneficiaries already received their grant totaling P831,882,000.
DSWD-6 noted that under the agency’s memorandum, the LGUs should conduct the distribution or the pay-out within five calendar days. It could be extended to seven days for geography isolated or disadvantaged areas.