Roque says expiration of Bayanihan Act will not affect the disbursement of SAP

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(FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 25) — Malacañang said while the Bayanihan Heal As One Act may have lapsed, it will not affect the distribution of emergency cash aid to millions of Filipinos hit by the COVID-19 crisis.

"Sa ngayon naman po walang epekto. Ang SAP (social amelioration program) distribution po ay nakalaan na po yan for distribution, hindi naman po sakop yan ng Bayanihan Act," Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said during his regular briefing on Thursday.

[Translation: For now it has no effect. The SAP distribution is meant to be given out, that isn't covered by the Bayanihan Act.

"It's a physical act of disbursing what has been allotted by Congress, so wala pong problema 'yan [so there is no problem]," he added.

READ: 1.3 million beneficiaries receive second tranche of SAP — DSWD

Meanwhile, the Department of Social Welfare and Development said it has completed the first tranche of SAP distribution, two months after it started.

Roque also said there was no need to make emergency purchases as there was sufficient supply of personal protective equipment and test kits.

The Bayanihan We Heal As One Act was signed in March to give the President extra powers to counter the pandemic. It lapsed on June 24.

However, President Rodrigo Duterte did not certify as urgent the second Bayanihan bill that was supposed to extend his extra powers for three months to address the health crisis.

Senate Bill 1546 or the Bayanihan We Recover As One bill earmarked ₱140 billion for programs including subsidies for affected sectors until September 30 this year.

In the House of Representatives, Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez had filed a similar bill on May 26.