Press Release
May 27, 2020

Press Statement of Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph G. Recto
SAP's 2nd 'give' must not be held up by liquidation reports

The DSWD says that a condition for the release of the second installment of SAP is the local government's liquidation report on the first wave of the cash distribution.

In ordinary times, this audit rule should be followed strictly. But in the midst of the pandemic, it should be relaxed, not waived, but only insofar as extending the deadline of submission, and not making it a requisite for the release of the next tranche.

Citizens running out of cash and hope are expecting this assistance which has been promised them, and to allow red tape to abort its prompt delivery is unkind and unjust.

Why should the people be penalized for a delay not of their own doing?

Local governments are frontliners in the war versus this disease and the many miseries it has caused. Many are overwhelmed by the tasks at hand.

Their situation can be likened to soldiers in the battlefield which must be constantly supplied and who, if they are in the middle of fighting, should be given the ammunition they need without delay.

For local governments who have been remiss in the distribution of SAP, or have violated rules, there is a time to make them accountable and pay for their mistakes.

In the meantime, let us have a full-speed-ahead mentality in bringing aid to the people. Replenish the aid; the receipts can come later.

Maaari rin namang hindi 100 percent ang release habang hindi pa kumpleto ang liquidation. Basta huwag lang zero, kasi kawawa ang mamamayang umaasa sa ayuda. Ang deadline ng liquidation reportpwedeng i-atras, pero ang gutom ng tao hindi.

But as much as possible, and as fast as possible, LGUs should comply with the demand of the DSWD, for the sake of their constituents. We should also understand that the DSWD, as the financially accountable agency, has rules to comply with from its end.

Transparency should not be the first casualty of war or pandemic.

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