LGUs begin payout of P22.9 billion lockdown assistance
A resident of Baseco Compound in Manila shows the cash aid she received from the local government yesterday.
Edd Gumban

LGUs begin payout of P22.9 billion lockdown assistance

Romina Cabrera (The Philippine Star) - April 8, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Local government units (LGUs) started yesterday the payout of the P22.9-billion lockdown assistance to qualified beneficiaries in the National Capital Region (NCR) Plus placed under the strictest enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

The beneficiaries received P1,000 each as ayuda or aid distribution officially started in the cities of Manila, Quezon City, Parañaque, Marikina and Taguig.

Around 22.9 million beneficiaries will be covered by the assistance from the national government, with families getting a maximum of P4,000.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has given LGUs 15 days to distribute the cash or at most 30 days if they will give it through relief goods.

The DILG has directed LGUs in Metro Manila and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal and Laguna to post the lists of beneficiaries in barangays, city halls and social media pages to avoid corruption and abuse of authority in the payout.

“Need to post the names of all those who will be given ayuda. On website, Facebook pages of the mayor and barangay… to avoid inclusion of unqualified beneficiaries,” DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said during the payout in Parañaque.

Malaya urged the public to report suspicious beneficiaries or complaints to the barangays or LGUs for action.

The DILG again warned local chief executives not to use the assistance program for political gains, especially for the 2022 elections.

2.4 M QC beneficiaries

The Quezon City government yesterday started the distribution of financial aid for families affected by the ECQ.

An estimated 2.4 million people from the poorest 800,000 families in the city are expected to benefit from the aid amounting to P1,000 to P4,000 per family.

The national government has allocated over P2.48 billion for Quezon City, which has one of the largest populations in the country. The distribution started at 30 sites covering 40 barangays in the city.

To avoid crowding and ensure that minimum health protocols will be observed, officials limited the distribution to only 2,000 residents per site every day.

Barangays will implement different systems in the distribution such as the use of stubs or scheduling per street or alphabetically by name.

The city government posted a list of beneficiaries on its website. It urged residents to coordinate with their respective barangays in case of coding errors and other concerns.

Social Welfare Secretary Rolando Joselito Bautista said the maximum P4,000 financial aid per family given to low income families in the NCR Plus would be a one-time subsidy.

In Parañaque, Mayor Edwin Olivarez, Bautista and Malaya led the the distribution of cash aid to around 100 residents in Barangay Vitalez yesterday.

The city government received P604 million from the national government for the new round of cash assistance, according to city administrator Ding Soriano.

Residents of Barangays Ligid Tipas and North Daang Hari in Taguig also received cash aid.

The distribution of P805.8 million worth of assistance would last until April 15, covering the city’s 28 barangays, the local government said.

In Pasig, at least 681,473 residents are set to receive financial aid, Mayor Vico Sotto said.

Sotto said the local government has received P681,743,000 from the national government.

He said those waitlisted in the social amelioration program, persons with disabilities, solo parents and low-income individuals living alone would be prioritized in the distribution.

“We will try to prioritize those who haven’t received the second tranche of financial aid.

‘Don’t belittle P1,000 aid’

The DILG asked the public not to belittle the P1,000 financial assistance given by the national government to indigents affected by the ECQ.

During the distribution of cash assistance to Caloocan residents, Malaya asked beneficiaries not to downplay the P1,000 per individual or maximum of P4,000 per household worth of assistance, which is smaller than the P5,000 to P8,000 aid given last year.

He said the amount alloted seems less because the aid is given individually while the cash assistance last year was given per household.

The P1.336-billion financial assistance downloaded by the national government to Caloocan will benefit 368,925 indigent residents, Mayor Oscar Malapitan said.

At least 1,500 beneficiaries are targeted to be given cash assistance, according to city hall. – Janvic Mateo, Neil Jayson Servallos, Marc Jayson Cayabyab, Ghio Ong, Rainier Allan Ronda

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