BY CHRYSEE G. SAMILLANO
The phase two distribution of the P1.3 billion Social Amelioration Program grants for Bacolod City residents began yesterday, and an excited senior citizen waiting for the release of her P6,000 share at the Barangay Villamonte gym, died.
Villamonte Barangay Captain Rommel Flores said Aurelia Magbanua, 87, of Purok Sabes, Villamonte, was rushed to a private hospital but she died past 11 a.m. yesterday.
Flores said Magbanua was accompanied by her daughter Melanie Regis, purok president of Sabes, to the gym to get her SAP.
Regis said they discouraged their mother from going out since the weather was hot but she was excited to receive her assistance that she was even seen dancing before they left the house, Flores said.
At the gym, Magbanua was assisted and provided a seat at the fast lane for senior citizens and persons with disability (PWD).
While waiting for her name to be called up, Flores said Magbanua who was sitting slowly slumped down.
Regis said it was the second time for her mother to receive the SAP and she was probably over excited.
Meanwhile, Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia is upbeat that the P1.3 billion public fund through the SAP will pump-prime the local economy.
After an initial release of P588.9 million for 98,143 families, a second tranche is now being distributed to all barangays.
“This is a tremendous help to our people at a time when our economy is feeling the effects of this health crisis and this will go a long, long way in helping needy families,” the mayor said.
Leonardia, who heads the League of Cities of the Philippines and sits in the Legislative Executive Development Authority Council, thanked President Rodrigo Duterte who approved a second tranche release for Bacolod which will benefit 97,266 Bacoleños.
The mayor also thanked Malacañang Protocol Officer Jasmin Egan who helped justify to Social Welfare Secretary Rolando Joselito Bautista that Bacolod needed to be covered by the second phase of the SAP.
The SAP, provided for under the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act, consists of two releases of P6,000 each over two months to qualified beneficiaries.*