By Chito Chavez
Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte on Sunday vowed to make an appeal before the national government for an extension beyond the seven-day reprieve in the distribution of the cash aid for the qualified beneficiaries under the social amelioration program (SAP).
Starting May 4, Belmonte said the city government will extensively provide the payout 27/7 and hope to complete its distribution within the prescribed deadline set by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
“If we still don’t finish by the deadline, I will make an appeal for special consideration from the national government for QC for a few days more extension,’’ Belmonte said.
Explaining further, Belmonte noted “that the sheer size of our city’s population and the number of poor recipients’’ that need to be served in our city makes the task very challenging.
But, Belmonte assured that extensive payouts will be enforced with the hope of complying the deadline.
Earlier, DILG Undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said no extensions will be allowed after the expiration of the seven-day limit as the initial April 30 deadline had been adjusted.
Citing various difficulties, several local chief executives (LCE) requested for the extension of the delivery of the payouts which was granted by DILG Secretary Eduardo Año after conferring with Department of Social Welfare and Developme
nt (DSWD) Secretary Rolando Bautista.
Stressing her point further, Belmonte explained that meeting the deadline is attainable if the city decides to let the beneficiaries just fall in line to get the subsidy.
But in doing so, Belmonte stressed that this would mean breaking the social distancing policy under quarantine protocols which was imposed specifically to prevent the spread of the virus.
Since the subsidy is inadequate to provide aid for all the recipients, Belmonte said the city’s 142 barangays also had extreme difficulty in completing the process of listing the beneficiaries.#