DSWD urges those who got cash aid twice to return the excess
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Thursday urged those who received financial assistance from the government twice to inform their local officials as they need to return the money.
In a radio interview, DSWD Undersecretary Irene Dumlao said a beneficiary only needs to receive cash assistance from their Social Amelioration Program (SAP) or from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and Social Security System (SSS) Small Business Wage Subsidy (SBWS) Program.
“It was decided by the core group of DILG (Department of Interior and Local Government), DSWD, SSS, DOF (Department of Finance) and DBM (Department of Budget and Management) that if a SAP beneficiary received assistance under the SBWS, they need to return the money they received under SAP of DSWD,” Dumlao said.
“If they qualified under SBWS, it means their family is under the formal sector because if you can recall, families who are allowed under SAP are those who are low income families or informal sector,” she added.
Beneficiaries of the SBWS program must report to their local government unit so that their name will be removed from the list of SAP beneficiaries.
In case the money was already used, Dumlao said it is better to report it now so arrangements will be made on how they can return the money.
“They should coordinate and inform their local government officials that they received SBWS assistance so that they can have arrangement on how to return the fund to the local government,” she said.
She added that beneficiaries should ask for acknowledgement receipt which will be proof that they returned the money.
The DILG said they will give a demand letter to those who will not report or refund the money.
In a virtual briefing, DSWD said they distributed a total of P98.1 billion for around 7.3 million SAP beneficiaries.
Undersecretary Glen Paje appealed for public’s understanding as they still need to validate and wait for the liquidation report before they can distribute the second tranche of SAP.
“We asked for public’s understanding as the procedure is very complex and we are doing a lot of consideration… We are very careful as we don’t want to be held liable by the COA (Commission on Audit) requirements if the implementation is not right,” Paje said.
“We will implement whatever will be the directive of Malacanang on the distribution of second tranche… we are hoping that they will give the directive as soon as possible so that we can distribute it properly and orderly,” he added. Ella Dionisio/DMS