DSWD will give LGUs in ECQ bubble list of aid beneficiaries
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) assured on Monday local government units in the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) bubble that they will get a list of aid beneficiaries.
The so-called bubble is composed of Metro Manila and the adjacent provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal.
The Department of Budget and Management said on Monday that it was eyeing to give 22.9 million beneficiaries ECQ aid worth at least P1,000 per individual — which would either be given in cash or in-kind. But no family would be given more than P4,000.
“As part of its technical assistance, [DSWD] said that it will provide the list of beneficiaries of Emergency Subsidy Program (ESP) to the [LGUs] covered by the latest financial assistance of the government to low-income beneficiaries that are affected by the imposition of the enhanced community quarantine from March 29 to April 4,” the DSWD said in a statement.
“The list of beneficiaries served in the ESP implementation may be used by the LGUs as a reference for identifying the individuals who will be given aid in their respective localities,” the statement added.
The DSWD made the assurance after several observers, including activists and even elected officials, lamented the system that the national government would use in giving aid.
Earlier, Cavite Gov. Jonvic Remulla said in a Facebook post that he was worried that the aid distribution might end in a disaster, due to the lack of a mechanism to verify beneficiaries.
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon suggested that giving beneficiaries cash might be simpler than giving them in-kind items.
The DSWD said that LGUs would be free to include beneficiaries not included in the list it would provide.
It added that it would try to provide the list on Wednesday to start the distribution of the aid.
The current COVID-19 surge in the country has forced the government to create the ECQ bubble — which covers the Greater Manila Area, also known now as the National Capital Region Plus — to prevent coronavirus infections from spilling over to other provinces.
As of Wednesday, the total number of active COVID-19 infections stood at more than 130,000 after another 6,128 patients tested positive.
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