Senator Panfilo Lacson criticized the data provided by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) which allegedly did not match in relation to the distribution of billions of pesos in funds as aid during the pandemic called the social amelioration program (SAP).
At the Senate budget hearing on Monday, Lacson caught a glimpse of the allegedly mismatched DSWD numbers on the disbursement rate and the distributed SAP funds to target beneficiaries.
“Something doesn’t add up. The DSWD’s latest data showed that the agency was able to distribute SAP to 717,372 out of 761,259 target beneficiary families. That would constitute 94.23-percent accomplishment as of August 31, 2021,” said Lacson.
But in the same DSWD report, it was stated that only 80 percent of the SAP funds were distributed.
Hannah Carcido, DSWD officer-in-charge at the Policy Development and Planning Bureau, explained that they only corrected the number of target beneficiaries.
From 717,372 beneficiaries, it rose to 855,597 as of January 2021, the official continued.
Lacson also told the DSWD to improve their “poor planning” in relation to hiring Starpay, a financial service provider with questionable financial standing, for the distribution of aid.
Data discrepancies on SAP distribution questioned
DSWD found that 70 percent of SAP beneficiaries do not have or have defective mobile phones so cannot get help through e-wallets.
“The DSWD became reactive. It did not determine the beneficiaries’ capability to use mobile phones before distributing the aid, so it had to engage financial service providers,” said Lacson.
“It should have planned first and determined the capability of the beneficiaries to receive aid via mobile phones. The bottom line is poor planning,” he added.
Lacson added that complaints flooded local governments that did not receive aid because the DSWD list, on which SAP recipients were based, appeared to be outdated.
“Some barangay chairmen agreed among themselves to just redistribute the P5,000 to P8,000 accordingly because the list provided by the DSWD central office was outdated,” he said.
“They wanted to adapt to the situation on the ground. We cannot fault the LGUs,” the senator added.