75% of aid already distributed in ‘NCR Plus’ – Año
MANILA, Philippines — The government has distributed cash aid amounting to P1,000 per recipient to 75 percent of beneficiaries in Metro Manila and the four adjacent provinces that had been placed under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said on Monday during the pre-recorded briefing of President Rodrigo Duterte.
According to Año, 17,037,122 of the 22,915,422 beneficiaries have received the one-time aid in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal — the so-called NCR Plus bubble.
The area with the highest disbursement rate is Laguna, as 2,307,825 out of the 2,718,083 intended beneficiaries — or 84.91 percent — have already received the aid.
Laguna is followed by the following areas, from highest to lowest disbursement rate:
- Metro Manila — 8,632,336 out of 11,172,988 beneficiaries, or 77.26 percent
- Bulacan — 2,168,243 out of 2,967,039 beneficiaries, or 73.08 percent
- Rizal — 1,740,338 out of 2,612,824 beneficiaries, or 66.61 percent
- Cavite — 2,188,380 out of 3,444,488 beneficiaries, or 63.53 percent
Año’s presentation also showed that the distribution of the social aid has been extended up to May 15 to give local government units more time to disburse the cash grant.
“The distribution of aid continues, and as of now, we have received 59,669 complaints,” he said.
Of those complaints, 24,421 have been resolved, 39,781 are under deliberation, and the rest had been referred to the relevant agency, he said.
According to Año, the target date for resolving the complaints is May 15.
The government allocated P1,000 for each eligible resident in the NCR Plus, meaning those people whose incomes had been affected by the lockdowns.
This version of the social aid has a cap of P4,000 per family.
Critics pointed out that P1,000 is not enough to cover even the basic needs of families, especially since the lockdowns have been extended for more than five weeks now.
Last April 4, members of party-list group Bayan Muna tried to buy goods from the Commonwealth Market using P1,000 only. They said they were only able to buy just enough food to feed a family of four for three days.
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