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DSWD welcomes investigation; maintains no “missing” SAP fund

DSWD

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is willing to face any investigating body and present the necessary evidence and other relevant documents to clarify the allegations raised by Senator Manny Pacquiao on the implementation of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP).

In fact, the agency has attended several Congressional hearings relative to the SAP implementation and has presented all the necessary reports for transparency. In addition, regular financial reports are submitted to oversight agencies and to the Office of the President.

Meanwhile, the DSWD emphasized that all funds provided to the Financial Service Providers (FSPs) are all accounted for and that there are no “missing” funds. All aid distributed is supported by liquidation reports that can be shared, if necessary. The agency ensures that the processes adopted by FSPs on payouts are in accordance with BSP-approved processes and existing government accounting rules and procedures.

The DSWD explained that it engaged the services of FSPs for the distribution of the second tranche of the SAP. The FSPs are Robinsons Bank, Unionbank, RCBC, Gcash, Paymaya, and Starpay. The FSPs were identified through the technical assistance of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) having the expertise on digitization as well as enabling policies and regulatory environment for financial inclusion and digital payments.

Makati City Pabakuna

In identifying the FSPs, BSP explained that primary considerations were given to the presence of payout partners to ensure ease and ability to cash out by beneficiaries balanced with other considerations such as: presence of any business model institutions, historical experience in commercial roll out, and type of cash out points that may contribute to ensuring liquidity or availability of cash.

It can be recalled, however, that the agency terminated the services of the FSPs last April 2021. The Department then opted to conduct manual payouts for the unserved 2nd tranche beneficiaries. The FSPs, including Starpay, liquidated the budget that they received and refunded the amount for the unserved beneficiaries to the DSWD.

To date, more than 17 million low-income families have received their first tranche of SAP with more than P98 billion amount disbursed. For the second tranche, 14.88 million families have also received their cash assistance with over P89.8 billion disbursed, as of July 2, 2021. Some payout activities are currently ongoing and will be completed by the end of this month.

The DSWD vows that all its transactions are transparent and in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.