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Duterte orders Avisado: ‘Circumcise’ budgets of line departments to fund SAP 2

 

By Argyll Cyrus Geducos

President Duterte has ordered Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado to “circumcise” the budgets of each line department to see if there are some that could be used for the second tranche of the social amelioration program (SAP).

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (KARL NORMAN ALONZO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO/MANILA BULLETIN)

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte
(KARL NORMAN ALONZO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO/MANILA BULLETIN)

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque made the announcement as the whole country goes into general community quarantine (GCQ) save for Metro Manila, Laguna, and Cebu City which are under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) from May 16 to 31.

In an interview over GMA-7, Roque announced that Duterte ordered Avisado on Thursday to scrutinize the budget of every line department to see if there are funds that can be realigned and be used for the second tranche of the SAP.

“Ang kanyang salita ay ‘tuliin’ niya yung mga budgets ng mga line departments at tingnan natin kung mabibigyan talaga lahat doon sa second tranche (His order to Secretary Avisado was to ‘circumcise’ the budgets of line department and see if we can give assistance to all during the second tranche),” he said Friday.

“Tingnan kung magkano ang pupwedeng ma-realign, tingnan kung ano ang pupwedeng ibenta. Pero sa ngayon po hanggang doon lang muna tayo dahil tinitingnan muna ni Presidente (Secretary Avisado will see if there are funds that can be realigned or if there are assets we can sell. For now, that’s all we can say because the President will still look into it),” he added.

It was initially decided that only those under the MECQ will be receiving the second tranche of the emergency subsidy.

According to Roque, the government is nearly scraping the bottom of the barrel, especially with the addition of 5 million more families as beneficiaries of the SAP.

“Konti na lang po ang natitirang pondo doon sa P205 billion, so kinakailangan maghanap muna ng karagdagang pondo bago magkaroon ng desisyon kung bibigyan ang lahat (There’s not much left from the allotted P205 billion so we need to look for funds before deciding to give cash aid to everyone). It’s all mathematics po and budget,” he said.

In his seventh weekly report submitted to Congress on Monday, President Duterte said that 14,254,106 families have benefited from the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD’s) Assistance to Individuals in Crisis (AICS) Program as of May 8.

So far, the program has served 3,921,378 members of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), 10,292,310 non-4Ps members, and 40,418 drivers of transport network vehicle service (TNVS) and public utility vehicles (TUVs) in the National Capital Region (NCR).

In his report, Duterte wrote that the next set of payouts for the TNVS and PUVs in NCR will be released this week. The list of the driver beneficiaries will be updated for verification by the local chief executives.

So far, the government has disbursed P99.27 billion of the allotted P101.4 billion, P78.78 billion of which has been received by the beneficiaries.

Meanwhile, President Duterte said the DSWD was already in the process of finalizing the new guidelines for the estimated 5 million waitlisted families. The agency was also already undertaking steps to validate the lists of waitlisted families through cross-matching with available databases.


Source: Manila Bulletin (https://news.mb.com.ph/2020/05/15/duterte-orders-avisado-circumcise-budgets-of-line-departments-to-fund-sap-2/)

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