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

DILG: Ayuda distribution now 40% complete in Metro Manila

(Philstar.com) - April 19, 2021 - 11:42am

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: May 13, 2021 - 10:43pm

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

May 13, 2021 - 10:43pm

GCQ under Heightened Restrictions, according to the Palace:

  • Only essential travel into and out of the NCR Plus shall be allowed.
  • Public transportation shall remain operational at such capacities and protocols in accordance with the Department of Transportation guidelines while the use of active transportation shall be promoted.
  • Also, indoor dine-in services in NCR Plus shall be at 20% venue or seating capacity while outdoor or al fresco dining shall be at 50% venue or seating capacity.
  • Outdoor tourist attractions in the NCR Plus, on the other hand, may be opened at 30% with strict adherence to minimum public health standards.
  • Further allowed in the NCR Plus are specialized markets of the Department of Tourism (DOT) following the minimum public health standards and implementation of protocols and restrictions as set by the DOT.
  • Religious gatherings and gatherings for necrological services, wakes, inurnment and funerals for those who died of causes other than COVID-19 in NCR Plus shall be allowed up to 10% of the venue capacity.
  • Also continued to be allowed in GCQ areas with heightened restrictions are non-contact sports in outdoor contact sports, games, scrimmages; and personal care services that allow for services not requiring mask removal, such as salons, parlors, beauty clinics, etc at 30% capacity.
  • Individuals, 18-65 years of age, can leave their places of residence in GCQ areas with heightened restrictions.
  • Meanwhile, entertainment venues, such as bars, concert halls, theaters, etc; recreational venues, such as internet cafes, billiards halls, arcades, etc; amusement parks, fairs, playgrounds, kiddie rides; indoor sports courts and venues and indoor tourist attractions; venues for meetings, conferences, exhibitions shall not be allowed in GCQ areas with heightened restrictions.
  • Interzonal travel from NCR Plus areas, except those conducted by Authorized Persons Outside Residence (APORs), shall remain prohibited in GCQ areas with heightened restrictions.
April 20, 2021 - 7:53pm

The Department of Tourism supports the construction of temporary hospitals and pandemic-related facilities in tourism sites, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat says Tuesday.

"The DOT is gratified and honored to be able to use its parks and public spaces in support of the national pandemic response," she says.

She made the comment at the groundbreaking for a Mega Field Hospital at the Burnham Green in Rizal Park in Manila.

April 18, 2021 - 9:26am

St. Luke's Medical Center hospitals in Taguig and in Quezon City are at full capacity for COVID-19 patients, SLMC says Sunday morning.

It says that aside from the COVID-19 wards and ICU units being full, there are also "several critical patients in waiting at the Emergency Room."

SLMC says those who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and who are in need of immediate treatment should consider other healthcare institutions for now. 

March 29, 2021 - 7:40am

Former president and Manila mayor Joseph "Erap" Estrada has tested positive for COVID-19.

Estrada's son, former senator JV Ejercito on Monday morning tweeted that his father was rushed to the hospital.

"Please pray for all those who are likewise fighting this virus," Ejercito says.

March 28, 2021 - 3:25pm

Gat Andres Bonifacio Memorial Medical Center in Tondo is at full capacity for COVID-19 patients, Manila's Public Information Office announces.

The hopsital's COVID-19 ward and isolation rooms are already at 124.44% capacity while suspected COVID-19 cases are also waiting for swab test results.

The hospital will limit admission of COVID-19 patients but the emergency room will remain open.

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