Sen. Manny Pacquiao earlier this week claimed that the distribution of the social amelioration program (SAP) was tainted with corrupt practices via the use of relatively unknown e-wallet app called Starpay.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development, according to Pacquiao, was unable to dole out the full SAP in the amount of P10.4 billion, but records showed otherwise.
The second tranche of SAP amounted to P207.6 billion, and P50 billion or more of this was allegedly allocated to Starpay, whose startup capital was a mere P62,000. He added that only 500,000 of 1.8 million beneficiaries received the cash aid. This means that only they were able to download the app, without which one cannot avail of their SAP.
“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 said.
He likewise hit the Department of Health and Department of Energy. The DOH, he claimed, purchased medicines close to their expiration date at regular prices, when these prices should already have been lowered.
Meanwhile, Pacquiao said that through the DOE, the Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines (IEMOP) was receiving a portion of payments made by electricity consumers.
These discoveries were made following President Rodrigo Duterte’s challenge to the senator to identify corrupt agencies in his administration, the failure of which would result in him campaigning against Pacquiao during the lead-up to the 2022 polls.
Pacquiao accepted the challenge and has since begun investigations starting with the DOH, led by secretary Francisco Duque III.
Photo: The Manila Times