'Ayuda' distribution for NCR ECQ beneficiaires likely to start next week — DILG spokesman

Published August 6, 2021, 1:38 PM

by Chito Chavez

As the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) began in the National Capital Region (NCR) Friday, August 6, the distribution of financial aid (ayuda) to qualified beneficiaries will possibly start next week, an executive of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) bared.

DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya (DILG photo)

In a “Laging Handa” news briefing, DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya noted that local government units (LGUs) should be given more time to make the necessary logistical adjustments for the cash aid distribution ss certain probable conditions will have to be contended with.

“The LGUs are really in-charge of the distribution. So they would need to organize their distribution teams, they would need to set-up the distribution points. Iyon pong kanilang listahan, kailangang ayusin nila so kailangan nilang imobilize ang kanilang disbursing officers and most importantly ang cash (Their list needs to be prepared so they need to mobilize their disbursing officers and most importantly the cash),’’ Malaya said.

Further, Malaya explained that the funds may have been in the bank but there may be instances where there is insufficient “paper bills” cash for a particular day that would cause delays in the ayuda distribution.

The DILG spokesperson said the release of the funds was expected to be released by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) on Thursday, August 5, as they await the special allotment release order (SARO) and the notice of cash allocation (NCA) of the ayuda for NCR residents.

After this, Malaya said that they will wait for the local budget circular from the DBM. The DILG, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and the Department of National Defense (DND) will then issue the guidelines in the distribution process similar to the financial assistance distribution system last year.

Meanwhile, in the same briefing, Malaya said that the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) have conducted extensive probes to uncover the organizers behind the dissemination of the false information about the supposed “no vaccination, no ayuda” policy.

The fake news caused a furor where people from other places suddenly trooped to the NCR vaccination sites and violated health and safety protocols.

Malaya pointed out that the fake news not only disrupted the government’s vaccination program but also served as a potential super spreader event.

With concerns that organizers tend to sabotage the vaccination programs of the LGUs and national government, Malaya said: “Ware taking this very seriously dahil (because) this is a serious threat not only to public health but also to our national security.’’