SAN FRANCISCO, Agusan del Sur—Primitivo Payod, 46, a resident of Barangay 4 here, was delighted to hold at the palm of his hands five crisp P1,000 bills from the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) last Saturday, April 25, at the municipal gym where 399 others who were also beneficiaries waited in queue.
Payod, who raised three children and a polio victim since he was three, was listed at number 304 that he waited until early afternoon to take his turn to sign the document from a staff of the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office to receive the P5,000 cash from SAP, an emergency subsidy program for 18 million Filipino families whose lives are greatly affected by the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) due to Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
“ I would not go there if my neighbors did not told me that they saw my wife’s name on the list and we even received a note confirming we are beneficiaries,” Payod said. He was the one who went to the gym since his wife was looking after their children in their dilapidated home.
Edendita Batiao, Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer of San Francisco, said Payod is part of Set 9 of the new members of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) approved in 2020.
His happiness clutching the cold cash had gone awry in just a few moments when Barangay 4 Kagawad Concepcion dela Fuerte called him while he was about to leave telling him to return the money to the MSWDO table after a staff found out in another document that he is already a 4Ps member.
He returned the money feeling disappointed and went home empty-handed.
Dela Fuente, who is chairman of persons with disabilities (PWD) at the barangay council, explained that he should return the money or he will lose the privilege of being a lifetime 4Ps member.
He further said that 4Ps are not included in the P5,000 per beneficiary of SAP distributed to at least 9,000 families in this town.
But Payod said he had been applying as 4Ps member since 2010 but was just recently approved since he could not present legal documents in the past including their marriage certificate and birth certificates of their three children having difficulties of processing these documents.
It was only last year when dela Fuente helped Payod family processed their documents.
She assured Payod will be included among the 4Ps beneficiaries who will receive the P5,000 SAP subsidy this week when he will be given with cash card that can be withdrawn at the Automatic Teller Machine of the Land Bank of the Philippines branch in this town.
But contrary to dela Fuente’s assurance, Gretchin Bautista, municipal link of the local government unit with the Department of Social Welfare and Development, said the fund for the 4Ps SAP is already available at the bank only that they still await the schedule of the release of the ATM cash card.
Batiao said apart from P5,000 subsidy, Payod as a new 4Ps member will also get his first P2,600 cash card.
Bautista however added that the voluminous processing could delay the release that she feared that it is likely the money can be withdrawn after the COVID-19 crisis.
“There is a need to fast tract the subsidy release of the Set 9 4ps members to let them be also relieved of the hardships in these times of crisis,” Batiao said.
The effect of the ECQ had made it hard for Payod to feed his family that he struggled to sell vegetables around the neighborhood and at times selling face masks using his bike which he could not pedal but only used his right normal feet to push it to the ground to keep it moving.
He said it would be lucky if he could sell at least P400 a day to earn P200 for their daily subsistence. Before the crisis, Payod was a canvasser of PP Bus Line, a passenger bus with a Davao City to Pasay City route where he earned P50 per passenger with an average six passengers he could canvass a day.