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An official of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Tuesday said the distribution of the second tranche of cash aid under the government’s social amelioration program (SAP) could be completed within a week once the full list of beneficiaries is submitted by local government units (LGUs).

During the hearing of the House committee on good government and public accountability, DSWD Undersecretary Danilo Pamonag said the central office is still waiting for the final submission of the names of qualified beneficiaries from LGUs.

“As long as the names of beneficiaries are completed, we could complete the distribution of the emergency subsidy for a period of a week. Ang nakikita po namin ngayon (What we’re seeing now is that) the list of beneficiaries is still at the ground level… Precisely, we are reminding those on the ground to facilitate or hasten the submission of names,” Pamonag said.

He said the DSWD is currently working on validating the list of beneficiaries, or the process of “deduplication”, to ensure that it is free from duplicates.

“We are in the process now of what we call deduplication. Ito po yung sinusuri ang pangalan na walang magka-doble doble (This is the part where we validate names to avoid double [benefits]) so that we can avoid the duplicates and names including yung mga (those) beneficiaries who have received an emergency subsidy or SAP from other agencies,” he said. “Once the names are submitted and deduplicated, then we will proceed with the digital payment.”

DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista, who was also present during the hearing, said the agency has traced around 48,000 duplicate beneficiaries for the SAP.

“Sa unang stage namin ng deduplication, nagkaroon ng more or less 48,000 na nadoble ang natanggap na ayuda. Meron ding nakita doon na may mga ineligible at questionable ang pagkakasali (In the first stage of deduplication, there were more or less 48,000 [beneficiaries] who received double subsidies. There were also those who were ineligible and questionable for their inclusion),” Bautista said.

Bautista said some 12 million families are expected to receive the second wave of cash aid under SAP, as well as around 5 million waitlisted or “left out” families during the first tranche distribution.

Pamonag said as of Tuesday, there are 1.38 million beneficiaries who received the second tranche of SAP.

Deputy Speaker Luis Raymund Villafuerte pointed out that only a little over 10 percent of the target beneficiaries of the second tranche have received their cash subsidies.

Villafuerte stressed that the fear of duplication should not prevent the DSWD from fast-tracking the distribution of the second tranche.

“So ang point ko, why will the 10.7 million suffer kung meron nagkaroon na 48,000 na duplication? Nakalagay naman sa DSWD guidelines…nakalagay naman sa MOA [memorandum of agreement] with LGUs na if ever there are duplications na dapat ibalik nila ang pera? (My point, why will the 10.7 million suffer if there are 48,000 duplications? It was already stipulated in DSWD guidelines, and in a MOA with LGUs, that if ever there are duplications, they would return the money?),” Villafuerte said.

DSWD Undersecretary Aimee Neri, for her part, said the agency has signed a multilateral agreement with some financial service providers (FSPs) for the digital payment of SAP.

“For every ‘dedup’ [deduplicated] clean list of beneficiaries submitted to the central office, we immediately paid out. That’s the reason why there are already 1.3 million [beneficiaries] paid out,” Neri said.

“As for the clean list beneficiaries that were provided to the central office, we shared the same already to the financial service providers,” she added.

The participating FSPs are GCash, RCBC, Robinson Bank, PayMaya, Starpay, and Unionbank. (PNA)

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