The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) today said that local government units (LGUs) in the National Capital Region have distributed P4.47 Billion or 40.07% of the funds earmarked by the national government as financial assistance to 4,477,090 low-income individuals.

“Pursigido po ang mga LGUs sa pamamahagi ng ayuda kaya they have been working hard to ensure that the financial aid reaches the intended beneficiaries,” said DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya.

Earlier, the President approved the release of some P22.9-billion ayuda to 22.9 million low-income individuals in NCR Plus, including Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna, and Cavite. Each target beneficiary shall receive P1,000 or up to a maximum of P4,000 per family.

In Metro Manila, Mandaluyong, San Juan, Quezon City, and Navotas topped the list of LGUs that have distributed the most financial assistance to their constituents and are more than halfway through their distribution.

Mandaluyong has distributed P243.368-million (66.75%); San Juan has given out P62.77-million (63.78%); Quezon City has disbursed P1.559-billion (62.83%); Navotas has released P108.36-Million (54.22%), and Caloocan has released P639.8-million (47.89%).

Under the implementing guidelines on ayuda distribution, LGUs are given 15 days to distribute cash assistance and 30 days for in-kind assistance upon receipt of the funds from the national government. Both the DILG and the DSWD have committed to grant requests for an extension for justifiable reasons.

The DILG commended the LGUs for their hard work and perseverance in distributing the ayuda even beyond office hours and sometimes until the wee hours of the night to ensure that the aid gets to poor families immediately.

“Saludo po ang DILG sa ating mga LGUs sa sipag at tiyaga na ipinapamalas nila sa pamimigay ng ayuda. Pinapatunayan lamang nito na kayo ay matino, mahusay at maaasahang mga kawani ng pamahalaan,” said Malaya.

Under the Joint Memorandum Circular, priority target beneficiaries of the said financial assistance are low-income individuals and those working in informal economies who were beneficiaries of the first tranche of Social Amelioration Program (SAP), additional beneficiaries in SAP 2, SAP wait-listed beneficiaries, and those belonging to vulnerable groups such as low-income individuals living alone, persons with disabilities (PWD), solo parents, and the like.

Malaya reminded LGUs to strictly impose physical distancing and wearing of face masks and face shields during the distribution of ayuda in distribution centers.

“While we want the ayuda to reach our people quickly, we do not want the distribution to become super spreader events. We, therefore, call on our LGUs to enforce measures to ensure that the public observes minimum public health standards during the distribution proper,” he said.

The Philippine National Police has also been directed to assist the LGUs in implementing minimum health standards. The PNP is part of the Joint Monitoring and Inspection Team headed by the DILG.

Malaya lauded the efforts of some LGUs like the City of Biñan in Laguna, where Mayor Arman Dimaguila mobilized city government employees and other volunteers to distribute the ayuda right at the doorsteps of the beneficiaries.

“Maayos ang pamimigay sa Biñan kasi sinusuyod talaga nila ang mga barangay at inihahatid ang ayuda sa tahanan mismo ng mga beneficiaries. Sa ganitong paraan, hindi na kailangang mag-ipon-ipon ang mga tao at maiiwasan ang pagkalat ng virus,” he said.

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