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DILG: Ayuda distribution now 40% complete in Metro Manila

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DILG: Ayuda distribution now 40% complete in Metro Manila
Residents of Batasan Hills in Quezon CIty line up to receive their financial assistance from the national government on April 7, 2021.
The STAR / Michael Varcas

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of the Interior and Local Government disclosed Monday that local governments in Metro Manila have distributed P4.47 billion or 40.07% of the funds allocated as financial assistance to low-income individuals amid the enhanced community quarantine.

To recall, President Rodrigo Duterte approved the release of some P22.9-billion ayuda to 22.9 million low-income individuals in NCR Plus, including Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna, and Cavite.

Under the aid or ayuda distribution, each target beneficiary shall receive P1,000 in cash or kind, an amount that progressive groups have slammed as grossly insufficient.

In the capital region — where 4,477,090 Filipinos are slated to receive assistance — the cities of Mandaluyong, San Juan, 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.

According to a statement by the DILG, distribution updates are as follows:

  • Mandaluyong has distributed P243.368-million (66.75%);
  • San Juan has given out P62.77-million (63.78%);
  • Quezon City has disbursed P1.559-billion (62.83%);
  • Navotas has released P108.36-Million (54.22%),
  • and Caloocan has released P639.8-million (47.89%).

In a message to reporters, Social Welfare Spokesperson Irene Dumlao also said that distribution was at P1.22 billion in the Calabarzon region and P352 million in Central Luzon. 

Overall, however, the amount disbursed only makes up 29.2% within the so-called NCR+ Plus regions. 

Under the implementing guidelines on ayuda distribution, 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 DSWD have committed to grant requests for an extension for justifiable reasons, Interior Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said in the department's statement.

Earlier, Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte urged the national government to extend the 15-day deadline for the distribution of financial aid to those affected by the enhanced community quarantine or ECQ.

“The main challenge is the fact that our city is 25 percent of Metro Manila,” she said in Filipino during the Laging Handa briefing. “The number of people who will receive the aid is more than those in other cities, yet the deadline given by the national government is the same.”

Home distribution of ayuda in some cities noted

The interior undersecretary lauded the efforts of LGUs that mobilized city government employees and volunteers to distribute ayuda at the doorsteps of the beneficiaries.

“The distribution in Biñan is efficient because they really follow the barangays and deliver the aid to the homes of the beneficiaries. This way, people don't have to gather and prevent the spread of the virus,” he said.

In her weekly radio show Sunday morning, Vice President Leni Robredo also said that local governments could look into house-to-house registration for COVID-19 vaccination, as many Filipinos do not have adequate access to the internet amid the quarantine. 

"Many LGUs do their registration online, but the problem with that is many of our people aren't able to do that," Robredo said. "They can do hybrid registration...right now, many are still scared of getting vaccinated."

Malaya also reminded LGUs to strictly impose physical distancing and wearing of face masks and face shields during the distribution of ayuda in distribution centers.

The Philippine National Police, a member of the Joint Monitoring and Inspection Team headed by the DILG, has also been directed to assist the LGUs in implementing minimum health standards.

“While we want the ayuda 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,” Malaya said.

Governemnt aid not enough, groups say 

Progressive groups have long said that the amount is grossly insufficient on top of slow to distribute as cases continue to surge. 

"The construction of community pantries is proof that the Filipino people are ready to help each other especially now that most Filipinos are still not receiving help. The aid is already too late," said Joshua Marcial of Tulong Kabataan.

"It is also proof that the people can no longer resent those who are starving, getting sick, and dying due to the failed response of the Duterte government," added Raoul Manuel of Kabataan Partylist.

The Ayuda Network, a worker-led alliance, protested in front of Mendiola on Friday alongside labor unions and federations to push for immediate wage subsidy and monthly cash aid.

"Less than two days' wages is not enough as aid in the midst of rising prices. We are calling for an immediate P100 wage subsidy equal to the lost amount in the minimum wage. We are also calling for P10,000 per month assistance especially for those lost and without or lack of work," Buddy Carranza, convenor of Ayuda Network, said in Filipino in a statement.

"Workers do not feel the effects of aid and vaccinations. The government is billions of pesos in debt for vaccinations but so far we have relied on donations from other countries."

— Franco Luna with a report from The STAR  

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: January 16, 2022 - 10:25am

Follow this thread for updates on COVID-19 risk levels, safety measures, and data from Metro Manila's local government units.

Photo: The STAR/Michael Varcas

January 16, 2022 - 10:25am

Daily growth rate in the National Capital Region is down to 2% from 3% of the previous day, according to OCTA Research.

OCTA Research fellow Guido David says the capital region could be close to the peak in new cases or the region has reached its limits in testing capacity.

January 13, 2022 - 9:57am

The LRTA says it will implement the "no vaccination, no ride/no entry" policy starting January 17.

Only vaccinated passengers will be allowed to ride the LRT-2 and will be required to show proof of vaccination.

January 12, 2022 - 10:47am

The Department of Transportation has issued an order barring unvaccinated people from using public transportation in Metro Manila while the capital region is under Alert Level 3.

"All concerned attached agencies and sectoral offices of DOTr are directed to ensure that operators of public transportation shall allow access or issue tickets only to ‘fully vaccinated persons’ as evidenced by a physical or digital copies of an LGU (local government unit)-issued vaccine card, or any IATF-prescribed document, with a valid government issued ID with picture and address," it says.

January 6, 2022 - 4:29pm

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat says she's in isolation following a recent exposure to a COVID-19 positive individual.

January 5, 2022 - 12:43pm

The government must ensure supply of basic medicines like paracetamol amid reports of people having trouble getting access to them, Akbayan party-list says Wednesda

"A shortage of paracetamol is another bitter pill that must not be swallowed by the public," Dr. RJ Naguit, second nominee of the party-list, says in a release.

The government has played down the reported shortage, saying supplies are adequate according to its monitoring. It said only specific brands of paracetamol are out of stock at pharmacies.

"For the last two years, the people have been swallowing too many bitter pills in the form of strict lockdowns, lack of mass testing, and inadequate ayuda. And after all our sacrifices, what do we get? We are entering the third year of the pandemic with hardly any paracetamol pills to swallow," Naguit says, adding failure to ensure steady stocks of basic medicines would lower confidence in government.

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