Only 1.4 million senior citizens have benefited from the national government’s Social Amelioration Program (SAP).
This was disclosed by Negros Oriental 1st District Rep. Jocelyn Sy Limkaichong, vice chairperson of the House Committee on Appropriations, during the House of Representatives’ plenary deliberations on the proposed P171.22 billion budget of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for 2021.
“There are 1.404 million senior citizens who were able to avail themselves of the social amelioration,” she told the plenary.
Bayan Muna partylist Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate laments that the number of senior citizens who received the SAP subsidy is small compared to the 3.796 million elderly people identified by the DSWD last year.
“May I be clarified that in the distribution of SAP, only 1.4 million received the subsidy and aid during this time when most of our elderly people are in quarantine and have no source of income?,” he asked.
Limkaichong said the SAP was given to families, since the unit of assistance for SAP is family.
“There were only 1.4 million senior citizens who were considered as head of the families. SAP was given to families so there were 1.4 million head of families that were considered as senior citizens,” she said.
“So ibig sabihin ‘yung halos tatlong milyon dahil hindi sila ng head of families, they are not qualified. During the time of quarantine, especially during the first months of quarantine from March, April, May, wala silang natanggap because they are not heads of the family,” Zarate said upon hearing Limkaichong.
(So it means the almost three million because they are not heads of families, they are not qualified. During the time of quarantine, especially during the first months of quarantine from March, April, May, they have not received any subsidy because they are not heads of the family.)
In a report, the DSWD said that for the second tranche distribution of SAP, around 13, 969, 784 recipients have been served, receiving more than P83.5 billion worth of cash aid.