A total of P4.47 billion or 40.07 percent of the national government’s financial assistance has already been distributed, an official of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) said Saturday, April 17.
DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said a total of 4,477,090 low income people have already benefited from the cash assistance.
“Pursigido po ang mga LGUs (local government units) sa pamamahagi ng ayuda kaya (The LGUs are keen on distributing the cash assistance that is why) they have been working hard to ensure that the financial aid reaches the intended beneficiaries,” said Malaya.
In Metro Manila, Mandaluyong City, San Juan City, Quezon City and Navotas topped the list of LGUs that have distributed the most financial assistance to their constituents and are more than halfway through their distribution.
Mandaluyong has distributed P243.368-million (66.75 percent); San Juan has given out P62.77-million (63.78 percent); Quezon City has disbursed P1.559-billion (62.83 percent); Navotas has released P108.36-Million (54.22 percent) and Caloocan City has released P639.8-million (47.89 percent).
Under the implementing guidelines on ayuda distribution, the DILG said that the LGUs are given 15 days to distribute cash assistance and 30 days for in-kind assistance upon receipt of the funds from the national government.
Both the DILG and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) have committed to grant requests for an extension for justifiable reasons.
The DILG commended the LGUs for their hard work and perseverance in distributing the ayuda even beyond office hours and sometimes until the wee hours of the night to ensure that the aid gets to poor families immediately.
Under the Joint Memorandum Circular, the priority target beneficiaries of the said financial assistance are low-income individuals and those working in informal economies who were beneficiaries of the first tranche of Social Amelioration Program (SAP), additional beneficiaries in SAP 2, SAP wait-listed beneficiaries, and those belonging to vulnerable groups such as low-income individuals living alone, persons with disabilities (PWD), solo parents, and the like.
Malaya reminded the LGUs to strictly impose physical distancing and wearing of face masks and face shields during the distribution of ayuda in distribution centers.
“While we want the ayuda (cash aid) to reach our people quickly, we do not want the distribution to become super spreader events. We, therefore, call on our LGUs to enforce measures to ensure that the public observes minimum public health standards during the distribution proper,” he added.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) has also been directed to assist the LGUs in implementing minimum health standards. The PNP is part of the Joint Monitoring and Inspection Team headed by the DILG.
Malaya cited the efforts of some LGUs like the City of Biñan in Laguna, where Mayor Arman Dimaguila mobilized city government employees and other volunteers to distribute the ayuda right at the doorsteps of the beneficiaries.
President Duterte has approved the release of P22.9-billion cash assistance to 22.9 million low-income individuals in NCR (National Capital Region)-plus which covers the areas of Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna, and Cavite.
Each target beneficiary shall receive P1,000 or up to a maximum of P4,000 per family.