Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said local government units should comply with the guidelines of the social amelioration program and ensure that only qualified beneficiaries would receive aid.
Boy Santos/File
‘Refund of social amelioration aid won’t absolve erring LGUs’
Helen Flores, Alexis Romero, Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) - April 13, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Local governments that erred in the distribution of cash aid intended for sectors affected by the Luzon-wide quarantine would be asked to refund the money and would face charges, Malacañang said yesterday.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said local government units (LGUs) should comply with the guidelines of the social amelioration program and ensure that only qualified beneficiaries would receive aid.

“If you did not distribute properly, the LGU is constrained to refund if there are errors in the distribution of cash aid,” Nograles said at a press briefing. “And refund does not absolve you from any criminal, civil or administrative liability.”

Nograles, spokesman for the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases, said the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) would validate the recipients of the cash assistance.

“If you gave money to ineligible beneficiaries, DSWD would inform the LGU... The LGU will be constrained to reimburse... And there would be investigation for determination of administrative, civil and criminal liability,” he added.

Nograles said families who have issues about the way the social amelioration program is being implemented can complain to DSWD. The agency is required to respond to the complaint within three days.

Qualified beneficiaries of the social amelioration program are families with at least one member belonging to vulnerable or disadvantaged sectors including senior citizens, persons with disability, pregnant and lactating women, solo parents, indigents, indigenous people, public transportation, drivers, informal economy workers, house helpers, operators of small stores and vendors.

SOCIAL AMELIORATION
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