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Senator Leila De Lima is taking President Rodrigo Duterte to task over the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) P10-billion savings due to the reduction in beneficiaries of the Social Amelioration Program’s (SAP) second tranche.

In a statement Monday (September 28), De Lima said there should be no blame game between DSWD and local government units (LGUs) in the distribution of cash aid if they coordinated with each other.

“This is what happens when you have a President who only works once a week. The government units are not working together. Mr. Duterte should have ensured that all departments are doing their part in order to help our countrymen in need. Instead, we have the DSWD and the LGUs blaming each other,” she said.

DSWD told senators last week that it saved P10 billion because only 14 million out of the 18 million target beneficiaries of the SAP’s second tranche received dole outs.

De Lima urged the DSWD to use the savings from SAP distribution to help more poor Filipinos instead of returning the money to the national treasury.

“Baka pwede namang food vouchers na maaaring pambili ng mga produkto ng magsasaka sa Kadiwa Centers para naman mas maraming maayudahan. O kaya naman maaaring dinggin na ang iyak ng mga namamalimos na mga jeepney drivers. Pwede rin sigurong palawakin pa ang sakop ng mga benepisyaryo ng SAP upang maisama sa ayuda ang mga Pilipinong namumuti na ang mata sa gutom at hirap,” she said.

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