Families qualified to be a beneficiary of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) but who have not received any can now formally file an appeal.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has set up a grievance and appeal mechanism for concerns and appeals for the SAP, the national government’s emergency subsidy program (ESP) for low-income families greatly affected by the quarantine due to COVID-19.
“The public is encouraged to voice out and report anomalies or irregularities in the delivery of SAP through the DSWD Grievance Redress System (GRS),” Undersecretary Camilo Gudmalin said in a virtual presser on April 20.
The SAP is mandated by the new Bayanihan To Heal As One Act (Republic Act 11469), which was signed by the President last March 25, 2020. All local government units (LGUs) were required to submit an initial list of beneficiaries to the DSWD. They are also mandated to post the DSWD-approved list of SAP beneficiaries in their barangay halls for transparency. (Click here to know if you’re qualified to receive SAP.)
How to make an appeal or complaint about SAP to DSWD
Based on DSWD's press release dated April 24, there are two ways to formally submit a complaint or appeal regarding SAP qualification and distribution via its GRS:
Via Local Social Welfare and Development Offices (LSWDOs)
- Families that are not in the initial list of beneficiaries may file a complaint or appeal with their respective Local Social Welfare and Development Offices (LSWDOs). The request should be submitted within three days from the day their barangay started distributing SAP cash assistance.
- The LSWDO will submit the consolidated appeals to the concerned DSWD Field Office for evaluation within three days.
Via DSWD Central Office-Operations Center hotline
- Families can also submit grievances, complaints, and appeals about SAP qualification and distribution to the DSWD Central Office-Operations Center through its 24/7 hotline number 16545.
- The DSWD Central Office-Operations Center will forward the reports to concerned DSWD offices for validation and investigation.
All DSWD office that received forwarded SAP grievances is required to respond to reports within 24 hours after receiving them.
Which families are not qualified to receive the SAP?
The DSWD also released the list of conditions that disqualify a family from receiving cash aid under the SAP to help families verify if their complaint or appeal has grounds for evaluation.
Under the DSWD guidelines, families that are excluded from SAP are the following:
- Elected and appointed government officials such as permanent, contractual, casual, coterminous or personnel contracted (under Memorandum of Agreement, Cost of Service, Job Order, and other similar arrangements/s) in any National Government Agency (NGA), Government-Owned and Controlled Corporation (GOCC), LGU, and GOCC with the original charter
- Private sector employees or those of the formal economy, including employees of GOCC without original charters, regardless of their employee-employer relationship and the fact that they are receiving salary or wage
- Retired individuals who are receiving pension
- Families with independent financial capacity consistent with the intent of RA 11469 to provide assistance to low-income families
The timeframe set by the DSWD may have lapsed for many families who were not included in the list of SAP beneficiaries of barangays that have started or completed the first wave distributions this month. The second wave of SAP distribution is in May.