Ombudsman may investigate SAP cash aid distribution

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The Office of the Ombudsman said it is also looking into probing cash aid releases under the government’s Social Amelioration Program.

Ombudsman Samuel Martires said Friday that they have received about 30 complaints regarding the cash subsidies, which grants monthly aid of ₱5,000 to ₱8,000 for the two months under strict lockdown measures to qualified beneficiaries.

The agency is still checking if the data will allow them to start the probe already.

Even this early, Martires admits they may encounter problems for the investigation, as documents forwarded to them were lacking – from the list of beneficiaries to even the names of barangay captains.

Reports claim that some 22,000 duplicate names were discovered by the Department of Social Welfare and Development on its list of beneficiaries.

“I think we’ll have a hard time finding out ‘yung fake claimants,” he admitted.

The government has just started releasing the second wave of cash aid to recipients this month, which should have supported poor families under lockdown in May.

Some 98 percent of the beneficiaries were able to receive the first tranche of cash aid, but implementation was marred with delays and corruption allegations.