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Provinces receive cash transfers, too



President Rodrigo Duterte

President Rodrigo Duterte has approved P3.78-billion worth of cash grants to low-income families in Laguna, Bataan, and some parts of Metro Manila, Malacañang said Thursday.

Of the amount, P2.71-billion were allocated for Laguna, P700 million were given to Bataan, while the remaining P368 million were sent to metro cities which requested additional funds.

Pasay City received P356 million, Mandaluyong had P347 million, Malabon had P307 million, Navotas had P197 billion, San Juan had P101 million, and the municipality of Pateros had P52 million, according to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

The agency has yet to release a breakdown of cash aid grants allocated to towns in Laguna and Bataan, which was approved days after the imposition of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the said areas.

The DBM has prepared the required budget documents to release the cash aid to beneficiaries, said Rolly Toledo, the agency’s spokesperson.

“We just received the approval from the President this morning (Thursday),” Toledo said in a press briefing.

The assistance was released directly to the concerned local government units, which would be in charge of distributing the funds to their residents who qualified as beneficiaries.

Similar to the previous lockdown last March and April, each qualified recipient would receive cash assistance worth P1,000. However, the amount would not exceed P4,000 per family.

Local officials would be required to submit their fund utilization reports to the national government after the distribution process.

The provinces of Laguna and Bataan previously asked the government for cash aid for their poor residents affected by the lockdown imposed on 6 to 15 August and 8 to 22 August, respectively.

Metro Manila, which was placed under ECQ on 6 to 20 August, began the distribution of P10.89-billion worth of financial assistance on Wednesday, although some cities had asked the national government for supplemental funds.

Earlier, the Palace also provided aid to the residents of Iloilo province and the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Gingoog in Misamis Oriental, which had been likewise affected by ECQ restrictions.

In a statement, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go appealed to concerned local officials to prevent any “administrative delay” in distributing the financial aid to qualified individuals and households.

“We need to quickly finish the aid distribution because the funds are needed by the poor. This is a race against Covid-19 and hunger,” he said.