A 46-year old driver from San Jose del Monte, Bulacan returned his PHP6,500 cash aid under the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) to the local government unit so others could benefit from the government assistance while the quarantine order is still in effect.

On May 12, 2020, Pancho Pacheco, who lives with his wife, two children, and grandchild, went to the city treasurer’s office to give back the money.

Photo; BENEFICIARY RETURNS CASH AID. Pancho Pancheco, 46, returns the PHP6,500 cash aid he received under the government’s Social Amelioration Program (SAP) so others who need it most would benefit from the money. SAP aims to provide cash aid to 18 million low-income families assessed to be most affected by the imposition of community quarantine due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic. (PNA photo by Joey Razon)

“Marami ho kasi ang mas nangangailangan na nakikita ko. Yung walang-wala talaga (I can see that there are people who need the money more than we do),” he said in an interview on Thursday.

Pacheco has spent 20 years on the roads of San Miguel, Bulacan to Quiapo driving a passenger jeepney to sustain the needs of his family.

While doing this, he also sought other jobs to earn extra income.

“Nagtatabi ako kahit gaano galing sa sweldo para may pera kapag nagkagipitan (I would somehow save as much as I can from my salary, so I would have something in times of emergency),” he added.

In December 2018, he got a regular post in a government office as a driver.

“Binalik ko po ang pera kasi nakikita ko na yung iba ko pong kapitbahay talagang nawalan sila ng trabaho dahil sa Covid-19. Pasasalamat na lang din ho kasi kahit papaano meron pa rin po akong trabaho ngayon at may babalikan pa po pagkatapos nito (I returned the money because some of my neighbors really lost their jobs due to Covid-19. It’s also a form of gratitude for me knowing that I still have a job to return to after this),” he added.

The Department of Welfare and Development (DSWD) has earlier hailed and expressed its admiration for beneficiaries who waived their slots as recipients of the emergency cash subsidy to make way for other qualified families.

SAP, which is being spearheaded by the DSWD, provides PHP5,000 to PHP8,000 cash subsidy, based on the regional minimum wage rate to 18 million low-income families nationwide assessed to be most affected by the imposition of community quarantine due to the Covid-19 pandemic given their existing life situations or circumstances. (Christine Cudis, PNA)