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Año: ‘Ayuda’ distribution extension, possible

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DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said the Duterte administration is open to extending the deadline in cash aid distribution to allow all beneficiaries receive the funds.

President Rodrigo Duterte is open to extending the deadline to distribute cash aids to areas under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to ensure that all beneficiaries receive the subsidy, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año said Friday in an interview with Daily Tribune’s morning show Gising Na!

 Año said the DILG, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Philippine National Police, and the Department of National Defense are implementing the distribution of the cash aid. They are making sure all the intended beneficiaries receive the funds.

 “We want to make sure that all the affected communities will receive their share,” the Secretary said, adding the government agencies would make the necessary adjustments if there are changes in the list of beneficiaries and if there is a need to extend the deadline of distribution.

 For example, suppose a beneficiary is missing from the list. In that case, the application’s committee should resolve the issue within 15 days and make sure the intended recipient receives their share of cash aid.

 He added funds for Laguna and Bataan would be downloaded on Friday, with the cash aid dissemination expected to begin within two to three days.

 However, several local government units are asking to extend the deadline due to challenges with the distribution of cash aid. But Año reassured them the administration is open to extending the deadline for a valid reason.

 He cited Quezon City, which has nearly two million individuals that need the assistance. The DILG is expecting the distribution to last for more than 15 days.

 He added that as much as possible, he does not want to violate the provision against mass gatherings and risk the health and lives of millions, but if an extension is requested, they would look into it and grant it if needed.

 When asked about barangays or barangay officials that do not distribute the cash aid and pocket the funds, the DILG Secretary warned the government would not hesitate to file the necessary criminal charges against them.

 Año encouraged the public to provide details and other important information to the appropriate authorities to start the investigation.

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