POOREST OF THE POOR. The Department of Social Welfare and Development has started this week the distribution of the social amelioration program(SAP) to the region’s poorest of the poor who are hard-hit on the impacts of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).(Photo Courtesy)

TACLOBAN CITY-Bernardita Codilan,67, could not contain her happiness after more than an hour of waiting at their barangay hall, finally receive the P5,000 social amelioration program (SAP) of the national government on Wednesday (April 22) afternoon.
Codilan was one of the 6,984 residents of the town of Barugo, Leyte province which was among the first areas in Eastern Visayas to distribute the financial assistance starting on April 18 and concluded four days later.
“Of course, I am happy! This amount is huge for us poor people. This P5,000 will go a long way as I can now buy my medicine for my high blood pressure with the rest of the amount for our food needs,” Codilan, a resident of Barangay District II said.
Town Mayor Ma. Rosario Avestruz said that when she learned that the national government will be providing financial assistance, she immediately moved in the listing of those who could qualify for the aid.
Among those who are to receive the two-time basis P5,000 cash assistance are the senior citizens, lactating mothers, single parents, person with disabilities and the low-income earners who were displaced due to the pandemic caused by the coronavirus disease 2019(COVID-19).
The town mayor reminded the beneficiaries to use the money that they received from the government.
She warned that those who will squander the money other than its original purposes, which to help them during this time of crisis by buying their daily and essential needs, could be delisted for the second payout scheduled next month.
“If they will spend for other purpose like for a tupada (cockfight) or liquor or worst, for illegal drugs, they will be delisted from the list for those who will receive the second payout,” Avestruz said.
For the entire Eastern Visayas, the regional office of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has identified 596,094 beneficiaries for SAP.
Joshua Kempis, information officer of the DSWD-8 for disaster response management division, said that they intend to complete the distribution on April 30.
As of Wednesday, about9,413 beneficiaries from the provinces of Leyte (4,443), Samar (1,963), and Eastern Samar (3,007) have received the P5,000 financial assistance.
“We just like to remind to the beneficiaries that this emergency subsidy is meant to help the people sustain their basic needs, especially now that most of people’s sources of income have been affected due to COVID-19,” Kempis said.(JOEY A.GABIETA)