SAP payouts continue

June 26, 2020

So is it a perpetual social protection program now?

For a while there, we were made to believe the taxpayer-funded dole-outs to the economically displaced and marginalized informal sector families would only be a temporary social lifeline to those displaced by the 2010 coronavirus disease pandemic and the consequent commas been having a hard time unity quarantine.

Don’t look now, but the Palace by the River just made it an open-ended program.
The expiration of Republic Act 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act would yield no adverse impact on the distribution of cash assistance to poor families affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak, Malacañang said.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque gave the assurance as the validity of RA 11469 ended on Thursday.

“As of now, it has no impact),” Roque said. “It’s not covered by the Bayanihan Act). It’s a physical act of disbursing what has been allotted by Congress. So there will be no problem with that.”

Under RA 11469, the government is mandated to grant emergency subsidies ranging from P5,000 to P8,000 to about 18 million low-income households who are bearing the brunt of strict quarantine measures implemented to fight Covid-19.

The 18 million poor households living in areas placed under enhanced community quarantine in April have already received the first tranche of cash aid under the national government’s social amelioration program.

On May 22, Malacañang released a memorandum, which states that only 12 million of the 18 million recipients of the first wave of payouts would benefit from the implementation of the second phase of the SAP.

The memorandum also provides that an additional five million poor families who are living in areas under ECQ in May would join the 12 million existing SAP beneficiaries.

The total number of recipients of the second tranche of emergency subsidies is 17 million.

Roque said he believes the government has done a “very good” job when it comes to distributing the financial assistance to indigent families.

Never mind that the government is having a hard time raising funds.

The combined collections of the Bureaus of Internal Revenue  and Customs in the first five months of the year plunged to P874.91 billion, which is P289.06 billion or 24.83 percent short of what was collected in the same period last year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic’s economic fallout.

Collections of the BIR and oOC from January to May last year amounted to P1.164 trillion.

The combined BIR-BoC target for January to May 2020 was P1.062 trillion, but preliminary data show both agencies failed to reach the collection goal by P187.5 billion, representing a shortfall of 17.65 percent.

Such data submitted to the Department of Finance  also show that actual BIR collections from January 1 to May 31 only reached P664.74 billion, which is P247.53 billion or 27.13 percent lower than the P912.26 billion collected for the same period in 2019.

The BIR’s January-May 2020 collection is 21.7 percent or P184.17 billion short of the P848.91 billion target for that period.

BoC collections, meanwhile, amounted to P210.18 billion from January 1 to May 31, which is P41.54 billion or 16.5 percent lower than the P251.71 billion collected in the same period last year, and P3.33 billion or 1.56 percent short of the target of P213.51 billion.

From May 1-31, the combined revenue haul of the BIR and BoC of P135.45 billion was only slightly over half of the P263.64 billion collected for the same period in 2019.

The May collection of both bureaus is short by P218.35 billion or 61.72 percent compared to the P353.8 billion combined BIR-BoC target for that month.

The BIR collected only P105.44 billion in May, or P100.04 billion (48.68 percent) lower than the P205.47-billion take for the same month in 2019 and P215.03 billion (67.1 percent) short of the P320.47 billion target.

The BoC collected P30.01 billion in May, which is lower by P28.16 billion or 48.41 percent compared to the P58.17 billion collected for the same period in 2019.

Its May collection is P3.32 billion or 9.96 percent short of the May 2020 target of P33.33 billion.