Distribution of ayuda extended to May 15
Residents affected by the renewed enhanced community quarantine wait for their turn as they claim their cash assistance from the government inside the Old Balara Elementary school in Quezon City on Thursday midnight, April 8, 2021.
The STAR/Miguel de Guzman, file

Distribution of ayuda extended to May 15

Emmanuel Tupas (The Philippine Star) - April 21, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The national government has extended the distribution of the P22.9-billion ayuda or lockdown aid to more than 22 million low-income residents in the National Capital Region (NCR) and four neighboring provinces until May 15, Malacañang announced yesterday.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the deadline was extended to avoid the crowding of beneficiaries at distribution sites.

“The manner of distribution is being improved. It can be flexible if it is automated or if it’s house-to-house,” Roque said at a press briefing.

The extension was made to accommodate the request of local chief executives to prolong the aid distribution, according to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

The decision was reached by Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, Social Welfare Secretary Rolando Bautista and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana after meeting with the mayors and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairman Benhur Abalos on Sunday night.

“This is a one-time extension for all local government units (LGUs) in NCR Plus and will no longer be extended anew,” DILG spokesman Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said.

The LGUs were initially given 15 days to finish the payout, which ended yesterday. Malaya said an extension is needed so that LGUs are not forced to fast-track the distribution of cash aid at the expense of ignoring COVID-19 health protocols.

“LGUs cannot go full blast in distributing the assistance given the threats of COVID-19 so their request for more time was granted,” he said.

The extension will also give the LGUs more time to address complaints and appeals of people who are not on the list of beneficiaries.

In Metro Manila, at least 5,769,852 beneficiaries or 51.64 percent of the recipients from the 17 LGUs in the NCR have received P5.79 billion in cash assistance.

The LGUs with the highest distribution rate are Mandaluyong at 74.32 percent (P270.9 million); San Juan, 63.78 percent (P98.42 million); Caloocan, 63.46 percent (P848 milion); Manila, 60 percent (P915.7 million) and Quezon City, 59.77 percent (P1.483 billion).

Malaya said they are still collating data from the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal.

The government has released P22.9 billion for low-income households in NCR and nearby provinces, which were placed under the strictest enhanced community quarantine from March 29 to April 11 amid a surge in COVID-19 cases. The NCR Plus bubble will remain under modified ECQ until April 30.

Up to four members of a family can get P1,000 each in assistance.

On Monday, Roque said only P4 billion of the total funding has been given to beneficiaries.

Malacañang apologized for the slow distribution of assistance. – Alexis Romero

  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with