More than 200K PUV drivers set to get gov’t cash aid

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    SOCIAL Welfare Secretary Rolando Bautista yesterday said more than 98,0000 public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers from Metro Manila had already received the first tranche of the emergency cash subsidy under the Social Amelioration Program (SAP), while more than 217,000 had been included in the waitlisted low income families that would receive the subsidy under the second tranche.

    President Duterte in his fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA) directed the Department of Social Welfare Development (DSWD) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to investigate reports that many PUV drivers have not received any cash aid from the government.

    Bautista said the DSWD understood the concern of the President and would do its best to complete the distribution of the cash aid to the waitlisted drivers

    He said under the first tranche of SAP, some 98,132 drivers of PUVs and Transport Network Vehicle Services (TNVS) that were identified through the Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) benefited for a total of P795 million worth of cash aid.

    Bautista said 24,581 drivers came from low income families, who are already beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).

    Bautista said 217,170 drivers had been targeted and included by the DSWD in its waitlisted list, which included low income families who are qualified for the SAP but were not included in the first tranche.

    To date, he said 84,014 waitlisted drivers from Metro Manila, Caraga region, Cagayan Valley region, Centra Visayas region, Eastern Visayas region, Zamboanga Peninsula region, and Soccsksargen had already received cash subsidy under the second tranche.

    Bautista said as of July 28, P2.8 billion had been distributed to 6.5 million low income and 4Ps families under the second tranche of SAP, which is broken down as follows: 1.3 million 4Ps beneficiaries, 3.2 million low income and non-4Ps families, and 2 million waitlisted families.

    He said the DSWD might extend the payout until the second week of August for beneficiaries living in isolated, geographically-challenged and conflict-affected areas.

    Bautista said there are no provisions for a third tranche of SAP at present but should a new law is passed, DSWD would comply with it.

    He said DSWD also has other programs should the public need further assistance like the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS), 4PS, sustainable livelihood program, Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens, and the supplemental feeding program.

    At the same time, Bautista said DSWD is eyeing the refund of SAP aid received by 239,859 families who were not qualified for SAP but included in the list submitted by local government units (LGUs).

    He said LGUs would be responsible for the refund of the SAP distributed to the unqualified families. The cash subsidy ranges from P5,000 to P8,000.

    Bautista said DSWD might also send demand letters to 675,933 families who got more than one cash subsidy from the government and ask them to return the SAP.