Great leadership with open consultative processes and a genuine concern for the poor has earned the local government unit (LGU) of Loboc an accolade from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD-7) after it picked Loboc as an exemplary LGU in distributing the government’s emergency cash aid.

With 2,610 poor and low-income families as beneficiaries for the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) which was embedded in the Bayanihan To Heal As One Act, Loboc finished its identification and validation of its beneficiaries in a judicious fashion that the town was among the top Bohol LGUs which completed its SAP distribution with hardly a snag.

Top photo: SYSTEMATIC DISTRIBUTION. LGU Loboc has put up 11 disbursement teams to do the simultaneous SAP payouts, after another team cleansed the list and validated it before forwarding it to the MSWDO for finalization, according to Mayor Leon Calipusan. Photo shows the payout in Brgy. Gotozon. (PIA Bohol/DSWD SMT)

How did they do it?

Loboc Mayor Leon Calipusan shared that upon the receiving the SAP directive from the national government, he immediately convened the entire LGU team, including the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO), department heads, members of the Association of Barangay Councils (ABC), Sangguniang Bayan (SB) and the Vice Mayor to strategize their response to the task.

With 2,610 family beneficiaries as target, it was a huge task ahead for the LGU.

But, for Calipusan, good governance is already a huge political capital.

With a team ready to thresh out the details, they agreed to equitably distribute the number of target beneficiaries to 28 barangays, targeting 62 percent of their total number of families.

Each barangay teams scrutinized every household using the DSWD SAP criteria and eligibility of the program.

“Aron madali ang pagsumiter sa mga listahan, atong gitahasan ang atong mga barangay officials nga muhatag sa 62 percent sa mga pamilya sa ilang barangay ug ang ilang mga gisumiter,i-validate sa atong MSWDO ug DSWD staff (To fast track the submission of list of beneficiaries, we ordered the barangay officials to cover 62 percent of the poor and low-income families in their barangays and focus on the most needy, as the list of beneficiaries would still be submitted and had to be validated by the MSWDO and DSWD staff),” Calipusan said.

To address complaints on exclusion and inclusion errors, Calipusan established a Grievance Center to cater to public concerns and assigned Analou Luayon, MSWDO head, as the overall grievance officer.

The LGU also put up a monitoring system by checking on complaints posted on social media.

The complaints were screencaptured and revalidated while the mayor also assigned the school administrator of the Loboc Learning Center for Excellence (LLCE), an LGU-run vocational school, to be the media officer to address all queries from the local media.

Calipusan also created 28 validation teams for those identified ineligible beneficiaries and identified under the “left-out families.”

The teams include a department head who serves as a team leader and members: a teacher, an LGU staff, a DSWD-7 staff, and a representative from the Civil Society Organization (CSO) in the area.

The LGU also initiated consultation meetings and rendered technical assistance to barangay officials and oriented them on the guidelines, including how to fill-out the SAC forms, for a uniform approach to completing the task with less errors.

Part of the consultation meetings and in preparation of a fast tracked SAP payout, the LGU Loboc organized 11 payout teams to man the payout.

The teams include a team leader who also serves as the disbursement officer, two validators who review the completeness of the documents, and a checker who double checks the documents and ensure that there is signature in the payroll.

The team also has a photographer who takes photos of each beneficiary and security personnel composed of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

When everything has been threshed out, the simultaneous payout to 28 barangays is carried out using the eleven payout teams.

After the simultaneous payouts, the LGU also conducted house-to-house delivery of cash subsidy to 16 senior citizen recipients.

“Dako akong kalipay ug mapasalamaton ko sa national government tungod niining programa sa pagpanghatag og ayuda pinaagi sa DSWD aron matagaan ang pinakalabaw’ng lisud nga igsuon natong Boholano (I am happy and grateful to the national government through DSWD because of their program that gives cash aid to our less fortunate Boholano brothers and sisters),” said Calipusan.

Little did the mayor and the town know that their system would work out well for them and jibes with the national government’s intention to bring the money to those who need it the most in the quickest possible time, as this would also be a great help in letting them cope with the demands of food during community quarantines. (Rey Anthony Chiu/PIA-7)