Sale of gov’t assets will not be enough to augment SAP funds

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President Rodrigo Duterte claimed that selling public properties would not be sufficient to support the funding for the social amelioration program (SAP) of the national government, Malacañang said on Wednesday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte had initially sought to sell a government asset to make sure that all the 23 million low-income families would receive the second tranche of emergency cash assistance.

The President, however, learned that the cost of that specific property was only about PHP20 billion, Roque said.

“That’s not even enough because we need even PHP50 billion more if we were to give first and second tranches to the five million additional beneficiaries,” he said in an interview.

Under the SAP, qualified households are entitled to receive monthly emergency subsidies ranging from PHP5,000 to PHP8,000 for April and May.

Originally, the number of SAP beneficiaries was 18 million, but it rose to 23 million after Duterte set his intention to give cash aid to five million more low-income families.

The 23 million poor families will receive the first tranche of emergency subsidies.

Malacañang earlier admitted that only 18 million families can benefit from the implementation of the second tranche of the SAP.

The Palace also said the government may ask Congress for a PHP50-billion supplemental budget if it wants to extend financial assistance to all the 23 million SAP beneficiaries.

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