A member of an indigenous people (IP) in San Enrique, Iloilo returned the PHP6,000 social amelioration program (SAP) grant on May 1, 2020, as she said their household is already a beneficiary of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).

Helen Segura, 34, a native of Lincud village, Dingle but is residing at Lip-ac village San Enrique was assisted by Lip-ac’s village chief Elvie Paez in returning the SAP aid to San Enrique’s Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO).

Top photo: UPHOLDING INTEGRITY. Helen Segura, 34, returns the PHP6, 000 social amelioration program aid to the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office in San Enrique on Friday (May 1, 2020) as she said their household are already a member of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps). 4Ps households receive the SAP aid as a top-up of their regular 4Ps grant. (Photo courtesy of Cristine Toreno Caro)

In a phone interview on May 2, 2020, Paez told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) that Segura’s household was registered to SAP through his husband, Himben Gregorio.

Their membership to 4Ps in Dingle town was not immediately traced by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) because it is Segura’s name.

“They received their SAP aid last week but the MSWDO in Dingle called us and said Helen Segura is listed as 4Ps member and cannot qualify to the SAP distribution on the local government unit,” Paez said.

Based on the guidelines of the DSWD, 4Ps households can receive their SAP assistance as a top-up to their regular 4Ps grant.

“I explained the guidelines to her, and without doubt, she said she will return the money,” Paez added.

Segura said they were left with around PHP2, 000 as they have already used some of the PHP6, 000 SAP aid to buy rice.

To return the PHP6,000 in full to the government, Segura borrowed money from Paez.

“We already have the assistance from our 4Ps registration and we found ways to return the SAP aid that is not for us,” she said in vernacular.

Segura and her husband work in a sugarcane farm to raise their four children aged 17, nine, five, and three. “We will do what is right,” she said.

Paez said Segura’s household received their PHP4, 650 aid as an addition to their 4Ps grant on Friday.

“We also encourage other village chiefs and the locals to return the SAP aid if they are not really qualified. Even though we are all in a difficult situation, it is still important to do what is right,” Paez said.

Western Visayas has a total of 1,472,683 SAP beneficiaries including the 318,899 4Ps members. (Gail Momblan, PNA)