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DSWD sympathizes with CEAP, but says no budget for formal sector under SAP

 

By Charissa Luci-Atienza

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is leaving to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) the decision to include the personnel of Catholic schools in Metro Manila as beneficiaries of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP).

DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista (PCOO / MANILA BULLETIN)

DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista
(PCOO / MANILA BULLETIN)

DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista said the agency’s hands are tied as far as addressing the concerns of the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippine – National Capital Region (CEAP NCR).

“Ang DSWD po ay taga implement lamang. Mayroon kaming mga suhestiyon sa IATF pero at the end of the day, collegial decision po ‘yan. Kung ano po ang mapag-usapan ‘dun at kung ano ang iutos sa DSWD, ayun naman po ang aming ini-implement. Alam nyo naman po ang puso ng DSWD talagang gusto nyang makatulong sa lahat (The DSWD is just the implementer. We have suggestion to the IATF, but the end of the day, it is a collegial decision. What is discussed there and whatever directive issued to the DSWD, that’s what we will implement. You know the heart of the DSWD, it wants to help everyone),” he said in a radio interview.

Bautista said he sympathizes and understands the plight of CEAP, which has been experiencing downtrend enrollment due to coronavirus pandemic.

However, he explained that the SAP has a limitation set by Republic Act No. 11469 or the “Bayanihan to Heal As One Act.”

He said under the law, SAP cash subsidy is given to 18 million low-income families or the “poorest of the poor.”

“Ang magiging problema po natin dito pagisama mo sila, magkakaron ng karagdagan para sa number ng 18 million. Ayun po ang magiging concern natin, wala pong budget na tinalaga sa formal sector (Our problem here will be, if you will include them, there will be additional number of beneficiaries to the initial 18 million. That will be the concern, there is no budget allotted for the formal sector),” Bautista explained.

“This is being discussed by the IATF. What is important is this was brought to the attention of the legislators because we want to give assistance to all of our Filipino brothers,” he said in Pilipino.

In a letter dated June 20 to Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate’s Basic Education panel, the CEAP-NCR appealed that the personnel of Catholic schools be included in the second wave of cash subsidies, saying that their “fast depleting, meager” savings could no longer sustain the needs of their employees.

CEAP is composed of more than 1,500 Catholic schools nationwide.

“Knowing your concern with public and private education, we, the CEAP NCR Regional Trustees and Committee Chairs are requesting that you include our school personnel as beneficiaries of the second tranche of the SAP of the government,” CEAP said.

In NCR, CEAP has about 171 member schools with more than 30,000 employees.


Source: Manila Bulletin (https://news.mb.com.ph/2020/06/25/dswd-sympathizes-with-ceap-but-says-no-budget-for-formal-sector-under-sap/)

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