When ‘Savings’ are Actually Shortcomings: On the DSWD’s Handling of the SAP

It’s just unfortunate that I was presiding over the hearing on the proposed 2021 budgets of the OPAPP, SPDA and MinDA yesterday, at the same time that the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s budget was being deliberated by another subcommittee.

I would have manifested that hundreds of thousands of mouths are still waiting to be fed just to survive, and that the agency should at least mind those poor souls.

I would have insisted that the DSWD utilize the P10 billion for distribution, instead of prematurely declaring the same as “savings” after it scaled down the number of cash aid beneficiaries by four million households.

In actual fact, I sent an official letter to DSWD Sec. Rolando Bautista more than a week ago on behalf of a listed beneficiary family who I do not even know or have met, that has been following up to receive their SAP subsidy but to no avail. Not being arrogant or trying to throw my weight around, I have not even received a “yes” or “no” response even from a clerk of DSWD.

If this is not failure of planning, preparation, coordination and implementation, I do not know how to describe it.

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