Año: Some LGUs asking for extension of COVID-19 cash aid disbursement deadline
MANILA, Philippines — Some local government units (LGUs) are seeking an extension to the April 24 deadline for the disbursement of the COVID-19 cash assistance as they struggle to complete their distributions, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said on Thursday.
“Ipu-push natin yung LGUs to immediately pay-out, lalo na dito sa Metro Manila, medyo mabagal din dito. Ito ang pinakamalaki, pinaka maraming mga beneficiaries kaya itong ating mga LGUs sa (Metro) Manila ay medyo nahihirapan sa pag-roll out,” Año said in an interview on dzMM.
(We will push our LGUs to immediately make their pay-out, especially in Metro Manila, distribution is little slow-paced. Metro Manila has the most numbers of beneficiaries that why LGUs here in Metro Manila are struggling to roll-out their assistance).
According to Año, all beneficiaries covered by LGUs which the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has already downloaded funds to should have already received their cash aid by the end of this week.
But some LGUs are asking for more time to finish their distributions.
“Based sa ating rules and protocols, within four days (na na-download ang funds sakanila) ay dapat na-idistrubute na nila ito…actually dapat nga bukas (April 24) yung deadline na dapat makapag-payout na sila but himihirit sila ng extension,” he said.
(Based sa ating rules and protocols, LGUs should have completed their distribution within four days that funds are downloaded to them..actually, tomorrow should have been the deadline but some are asking for an extension).
“Pero kami pinu-push na namin yung LGUs to comply kasi nai-download na sakanila e. Kung hindi pa ‘yan nai-dadownload, may rason pa sila, pero naka-download na yan, dapat mula ng natanggap nila yan in four days mai-pay out na nila yan,” he added.
(But we are pushing LGUs to comply because funds are have already been downloaded to them. If they have yet to receive the funds, they would a reason not to comply with the deadline but since they have already received it, they should have already made their pay-out in four days).
The DSWD has so far downloaded over P73.84 billion to LGUs to be distributed to low-income families affected by the Luzon-wide lockdown.
“Umabot na ng 91 percent ang na-download (ng DSWD) at ang na-distribute nila (LGUs) ay nasa 25.4 percent,” Año noted.
(DSWD have already downloaded at least 91 percent of the allocation to LGUs. Around 25.4 percent have been distributed to beneficiaries.)
The said assistance is part of the government’s social amelioration program (SAP) provided under Republic Act No. 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.
“Medyo nahihirapan din yung mga LGUs (dahila) bago lahat yung rules, bago lahat yung mga protocols at nagkaroon pa tayo ng konting problema dun sa listahan na iba yung listahan ng LGUs at iba din yung validated list ng DSWD,” Año pointed out.
(The LGUs are struggling because, with this new program, there are new rules and protocols, and then we encountered a problem with the discrepancy between the list of the LGUs and the DSWD).
Nevertheless, LGUs have committed to hasten its cash aid distributions, he added.
“Ngayon may nagaganap na meeting ang ating mga mayors, nangako naman sila na talagang bibilisan nila,” Año said, noting that the local governments of Pasig, Parañaque and Marikina are among those who are quick in distributing assistance.
(A meeting is currently being held between mayors and they promised to hasten their distribution).
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