The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) should distribute the P10 billion in unused social amelioration program (SAP) funds to more poor households, Malacañang said on Thursday.

On Tuesday, Social Welfare Secretary Rolando Bautista revealed that the total number of beneficiaries of the second tranche of SAP was cut from 18 million to 14 million families.

The disbursement only used up P83.1 billion of the total P94.5-billion SAP budget.

While the budget allocated for both tranches of SAP was intended for 18 million families, Bautista explained that the reduction was due to local government units submitting information of only 14 million beneficiaries.

DSWD also found households who were receiving “double compensation” and removed them from the list of SAP recipients.

Palace spokesman Harry Roque said the unused budget should be given to more poor families.

“Dahil iyan po ay naibigay na ng Kongreso, kung pupuwede nga po ay ibigay pa po iyan doon sa mga pamilya na hindi pa nakakatanggap ng second tranche,” he said in a Malacañang briefing.

As of Sept. 21, the SAP second tranche distribution was 98 percent completed. John Ezekiel J. Hirro