G-Watch Report on Citizen Entitlements under COVID-19: Social Amelioration Program (SAP) Accomplishments, Misses and Challenges

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The Social Amelioration Program (SAP) under the Duterte government’s COVID-19 response seeks to provide PhP5,000-PhP8,000 emergency assistance to 18 million Filipinos needing help the most. According to the Joint Memorandum on SAP, the aim of this social amelioration measure is to “mitigate the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 health crisis and the Enhanced Community Quarantine guidelines.”

Several government agencies are tasked to implement SAP, with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) at the head. The target beneficiaries are the indigents or most vulnerable among the following sectors: senior citizens, persons with disabilities (PWDs), pregnant women, solo parents, OFW (distressed and repatriated), indigenous people, homeless citizens, farmers, fisherfolks, self-employed, informal settlers and those under No Work-No Pay arrangements (e.g., drivers, house-helpers, construction workers, etc.).

According to earlier guidelines of DSWD, the first step in the implementation of the SAP is the distribution of the Social Amelioration Card (SAC). This will be done by local governments through house-to-house distribution. Families need to fill up the SAC, and based on the information provided and in consideration of existing guidelines, the government will provide the corresponding assistance coursed through the local government units (LGUs).

This report looks into the accomplishments, misses, issues and challenges in SAP implementation using official reports of the government and the result of the monitoring done by G-Watchers in G-Watch local sites and online from mid-March to April 2020.

Table of Contents

National Level Accomplishment
Region-Level Accomplishment (SAP-AICS)
Factors Affecting Performance: Facilitating Factors, Challenges and Issues
Looking Closely at Apparent Negative Cases (NCR, Region IV)
Looking Closely at an Apparent Good Practice Case (Region IV-B, CAR)

Some Concluding Remarks and Preliminary Recommendations