Pacquiao says lockdown ‘ayuda’ marred by corruption

By: Gabriel Pabico Lalu - Reporter / @GabrielLaluINQ - | July 03,2021 - 06:27 PM

Manny Pacquiao

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Manny Pacquiao on Saturday claimed that several government transactions were marred by corruption, mentioning, in particular, the distribution of social amelioration program (SAP) subsidies through the use of e-wallets.

Pacquiao said in a briefing that Starpay, an e-wallet application used by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has failed to distribute the SAP fully, even though it was noted that all of the payouts have been completed.

“Bilyong-bilyong halaga ang inutang ng ating pamahalaan na nilaan para sa ayuda ng ating mga kababayan na nawalan na ng mga kabuhayan.  Naglaan po ang ating gobyerno ng P207.6 billion para sa pangalawang SAP,” Pacquiao said.

“Mr. President, alam niyo po ba na ang kabuuang halaga na ito ay may nilaan na P50 billion more or less ang Department of Social Welfare and Development para lamang sa isang di kilalang e-wallet na kung tawagin ay Starpay na may build-up capital lamang po na P60,000,” he added.

Pacquiao said that out of the 1.8 million beneficiaries who would access the SAP through the said application, only 500,000 were able to receive the assistance.  But the remaining 1.3 million, the senator said, were already said to have received the payouts.

“Batay sa aking imbestigasyon Mr. President, lumalabas sa initial po na disbursement sa Starpay account para sa 1.8 million beneficiaries na katumbas ay P14 billion.  Kung tutuusin maganda po ang layunin ng paggamit ng e-wallet para sa distribution ng SAP, maiiwasan kasi ang kalakaran na ang pera ay mauuwi sa bulsa ng mga kawatan,” Pacquiao said.

“Bakit sa 1.8 million na binigyan ng SAP mula sa Starpay, 500,000 lamang po na katao ang na-download nito.   Sa mga hindi po nakaka-alam, hindi ka pwedeng mag-receive or mag-withdraw kung wala kang nada-download na Starpay app.  Ang tanong ko po, anong nangyari sa 1.3 million katao na hindi naka-download ng Starpay app pero sa record po, nakatanggap na po sila,” he added.

Aside from DSWD, Pacquiao mentioned that other government agencies in Department of Health (DOH), and the Department of Energy (DOE) that are still affected by corruption.  He also showed thick documents that would be used to prove his claims that corruption is still rampant in the country.

Pacquiao’s presentation comes after he and President Rodrigo Duterte traded barbs over the former’s claims that the government is riddled by corruption. Duterte said he would campaign against Pacquiao if he could not name the agencies involved and provide evidence.

Pacquiao accepted the President’s challenge, saying that the government can start with the Department of Health (DOH) and its COVID-19 pandemic response.

READ: Duterte to Pacquiao: Name corrupt agencies or I’ll campaign against you

READ: Pacquiao accepts Duterte dare, names Duque-led DOH

Pacquiao is rumored to be running for president in the 2022 polls with other Duterte allies to include Duterte’s daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, Senator Bong Go, and former senator Bongbong Marcos.

PDP-Laban officials loyal to Duterte like Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, who is the party’s vice-chairperson, have indirectly asked Pacquiao to leave the party. Cusi also joked that the PDP in the party stands for President Duterte’s Party — a joke that Pacquiao did not find funny.

READ: As Duterte-Pacquiao rift widens, ruling party’s future hangs in the balance

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TAGS: DSWD, Pacquiao, SAP, Senator Manny Pacquiao, social amelioration program

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