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Palace extends deadline of ‘ayuda’ distribution until May

MJ Blancaflor



The government is giving local authorities until next month to distribute the P1,000-worth of cash aid to 22.9 million low-income earners in Metro Manila and nearby provinces, Malacañang said Tuesday.

In his televised briefing, presidential spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque said the deadline for the distribution of financial assistance has been extended until May 15 following requests of local government units.

“The deadline for the complete distribution of financial assistance has been extended until May 15,” Roque said.

On Monday, the Palace has apologized for the “slow” rollout of P23-billion cash for poor residents in the capital region, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal – collectively known as “NCR Plus.”

Authorities have attributed the delay to strict observance of health protocols against coronavirus.

Of the P23-billion cash aid that should be given to some poor residents in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal, only P4.47 billion have been distributed as of Monday.

Local mayors were initially given 15 days to distribute cash assistance and 30 days for in-kind aid upon receipt of the funds from the national government.

Majority of “NCR Plus” areas began their cash aid distribution on April 7.

In Metro Manila, Mandaluyong, San Juan, Quezon City, and Navotas topped the list of local government units that have distributed the most financial assistance to their constituents.

Based on available data from the interior department, Mandaluyong has so far distributed P243.368-million (66.75 percent) followed by San Juan with P62.77-million (63.78 percent) and Quezon City with P1.559-billion (62.83 percent).

Meanwhile, Navotas has disbursed P108.36-million (54.22 percent) and Caloocan has released P639.8-million (47.89 percent).

These areas were placed under a two-week enhanced community quarantine, which shut down businesses deemed “non-essential.”

The National Economic and Development Authority estimated a P30-billion loss in household income during the two-week lockdown.

Low-income individuals residing in areas under may receive cash or in-kind aid worth P1,000. Each family could receive up to P4,000.