DILG assures corruption-free distribution of cash assistance to NCR+ residents

Published March 30, 2021, 12:07 PM

by Chito Chavez

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) assured on Tuesday, March 30 of corruption and hassle-free distribution of cash assistance to the people who would be affected by the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila and four adjacent provinces.

“Pangkalahatan naman last year sa first tranche ng SAP, naiparating naman ang tulong sa ating mga kababayan. But there were, I would admit, some LGUs na nagkaroon tayo ng problema (The first tranche of the SAP cash aid last year was provided generally to the qualified recipients. But there were, I would admit some LGUs that we had problems with),’’ DILG Undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said in an interview over GMA News.

“So ang gagawin namin sa DILG is babantayan namin ang mga LGUng ito. Kumbaga gagawin namin itong mga areas of special concern — ‘yung mga mahahaba ang pila, ‘yung mga na-late. Kasi mayroon kaming listahan ng mga LGUs na ‘yan, na actually ‘yung iba niyan pinadalhan namin ng show cause order, bakit na-delay ‘yung pamimigay nila ng Social Amelioration Program (So what we are going to do in the DILG is to monitor these LGUs. What we will do in these special concern areas, those with long lines (of beneficiaries) those who were late. Because we have the list of these LGUs that actually some of them were issued with show-cause-order, why was the distribution of the social amelioration program delayed),’’ he added.

Last year, the distribution of Social Amelioration Program was marked with massive corruption. Recipients also complained of long delays in the distribution, with some claiming that they have not received either the first and second batches of cash assistance, or both.

‘Yung mga LGUs na yon, ima-manhandle natin so to speak para hindi na maulit ang nangyari. ‘Yung vast majority naman ng LGUs na maayos ang pamimigay, they can operate, monitor na lang ng DILG (Those (corrupt) LGUs will be manhandled so to speak to avoid it from happening (anomaly). The vast majority of the LGUs with clean slates can operate with the DILG still monitoring),’’ he added.

President Duterte approved the assistance program that would cover some 22.9 million beneficiaries in Metro Manila and adjacent provinces amid the new restrictions implemented to prevent the further spread of the virus.

During the President’s briefing on March 29, Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Wendell Avisado reported that a total of 22.9 million low-income individuals would receive P1,000 in kind under the assistance program.

The National Capital Region (NCR), Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal were placed under the stricter enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) from March 29 to April 4 due to the skyrocketing number of COVID-19 cases.

Malaya said the DILG will have a meeting on the afternoon of March 30 to discuss details regarding the aid in kind for the NCR Plus under ECQ.

The DILG official noted that some LGUs will provide aid in the form of “rice or food packs or vegetables and they have a more updated list of beneficiaries.’’

Malaya said the aid for NCR-plus areas will be handed out in the first week of April.