By Chito Chavez
Department of Interior and Local Government Undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya on Friday, May 1, explicitly stressed that there will be no more extension of the cash aid distribution for the qualified beneficiaries under the national government’s social amelioration program (SAP).
In an interview, Malaya insisted that the DILG cannot grant such extension requests from the local government units (LGUs) since the intended recipients are in dire need of financial assistance. He emphasized that the seven-day extension which was immediately enforced after the lapse of April 30 deadline of the financial aid distribution,
“The seven-day extension if non extendible,’’ Malaya said. Malaya warned that in the event any LGU fails to comply with the second deadline, then it is apparent that show-cause orders will be in the offing.
Initially, the DILG warned that the local chief executives (LCE) who fail to comply with the April 30 deadline will be charged administratively for violating Republic Act 11469. But the DILG softened its stance as some LCE expressed doubts of meeting the DILG’s April 30 deadline.
Navotas City Mayor Toby Tiangco admitted the near impossibility of complying with the directive due to the extreme difficulty of ensuring that only the qualified recipients are given the cask grant. With the difficulty faced by the LCE, Año after conferring with Bautista approved the seven day extension of the cash grant distribution in Metro Manila, Cavite Rizal, Laguna, Bulacan, Cebu and Davao City and other high-risk areas. Other low-risk areas were given four-day extension periods.
After the expiration of the extension period, Año said the LGUs will have to liquidate immediately to expedite the preparation of the second tranche even if it is only “partial liquidation’’ to speed up the process enroute to full liquidation. Once this is accomplished, Año said the DSWD will now have the basis to release the second tranche of cash aid after strict validation.
Malaya’s statement practically threw out of the window the appeal of the Quezon City government to the DSWD and DILG for a 25-day extension for the first tranche of the cash aid. Mayor Joy Belmonte has yet to reply on Malaya’s declaration.