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Lapu social worker faces probe for inclusion of relatives, son’s gf in SAP list

By: Doris C. Bongcac - Editor/CDN Digital | May 09,2020 - 07:00 AM

Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard Chan confronts social worker Ma. Elenor Feliciano during a meeting which he called on Friday, May 8, 2020. | Photo courtesy of the Lapu-Lapu City PIO

CEBU CITY, Philippines – A social worker in Lapu-Lapu City is facing investigation for listing four relatives, an in-law, and her son’s girlfriend as beneficiaries of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP).

The mother, two sisters, a brother, sister-in-law, and the girlfriend of the son of Ma. Eleonor Feliciano all received the P6,000 SAP assistance that was distributed earlier this week, May 6, 2020.

Lapu-Lapu City Administrator Danilo Almendras has already requested Acting City Attorney James Allan Sayson to investigate Feliciano for misconduct and/or violation of the anti-graft and corrupt practices act (Sec. 3e), says a Facebook post by the Lapu-Lapu City Public Information Office Friday night, May 8.

“Almendras further requested Sayson to submit the result of his investigation to the mayor with the city attorney’s recommendation,” it added.

SAP List

The PIO post said that Feliciano failed to convince Mayor Junard Chan of the reason for the inclusion of her relatives on the city’s SAP list.

Chan called for Feliciano’s presence at his City Hall office on Friday following complaints on the inclusion of her family members and her son’s girlfriend, who are all residents of Barangay Basak, on the city’s SAP list.

Feliciano justified that her mother was a senior citizen while her sister and brother were PWDs, qualifying them to be included in the release of the cash aid.

She also told Chan that social welfare volunteers gave the SAP forms to her family members when they visited their respective homes in Barangay Basak.

“Pero ikaw may social welfare in-charge sa Barangay Basak, it’s your duty and responsibility to check the records,” the mayor told Feliciano.

Chan said he could understand the inclusion of Feliciano’s mother on the SAP list,  but there is no justifiable reason for the inclusion of the five others.  Her son’s girlfriend also works at the airport.

Formal Complaint

A complainant wrote Chan a letter to question how Feliciano’s relatives ended up in the list of SAP beneficiaries when the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) did not include residents of their subdivision in the distribution of SAP forms.

The girlfriend of Feliciano’s son was also living in a boarding house which was not also included in the DSWD visits.

Chan said the act of returning the P6,000 cash by one of  Feliciano’s sisters did not even absolve her of guilt.

“Kay nabunggo naman,” he said.

During their meeting on Friday, Chan told Feliciano that what she did was also in defiance of the instructions, which he gave to the city’s social workers before they were deployed, to prioritize poor and deserving families in the SAP listing regardless of their political affiliation.

“Di nato ni ipamolitika kay pwerte ning gamaya, di ko gusto miyembro sa atong pamilya ang atong unahon, ihatag ni sa karapat dapat nga angay natong hatagan.”

(Let us not politicize the distribution because this is just a small amount and I do not want you to prioritize members of your family because I want the assistance to go where it is much needed.)

Chan said that what Feliciano did also embarrassed him because she was representing the city government and the Office of the Mayor.

He also lamented that the cash assistance that was received by Feliciano’s family members could have been put to better use if given to the qualified beneficiaries.

City Hall Hotlines

Chan had been getting numerous complaints on the city’s SAP listing after he posted on his social media page a hotline which Oponganons could call.

He also met with some city residents on Wednesday, May 6, to personally hear their concerns on their exclusion in the list of SAP beneficiaries.

During the dialog, Chan learned that some beneficiaries listed were also beneficiaries of other dole out programs of the national government while there are households where more than one member was listed as SAP beneficiary.

There were also those who complained that they were made to fill up the SAP form but were not actually included in the official list of beneficiaries. Some city residents also raised a concern on the release of cash aid to “well-off” individuals.

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