MANILA—Several local government units in the NCR Plus region have asked to extend the distribution of the lockdown aid, a top interior official said Friday.
Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said the Department of the Interior and Local Government received requests from Muntinlupa, Quezon City and Valenzuela to give them more time to hand out aid.
Some 14 LGUs in Bulacan, 2 in Cavite, 3 in Laguna and 2 in Rizal also appealed, Malaya added, without specifying.
"We will discuss this if we make it as a case-to-case basis or a blanket extension," he told Teleradyo.
Distribution of the pandemic assistance to nearly 23 million qualified recipients in Metro Manila and 4 nearby provinces started last week.
Only P3 billion of the allocated P22.9 billion cash aid have been disbursed so far, Malaya said.
"I don't think it's really that slow. It can be sped up, but our LGUs have limitations because many of them were locked down," he said, adding that some LGUs were not running on full capacity because its staff members contracted COVID-19.
To rein in the sharp increase of COVID-19 cases, the national government placed for 2 weeks the so-called NCR Plus under the enhanced community quarantine, the strictest level of 4 curbs. Low-income individuals will receive P1,000 cash but not more than P4,000 per family.
In the interview, Malaya said the DILG would also coordinate with the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission following reports it received 8,000 complaints over the lockdown aid distribution.
"We're really surprised with the large number of complaints that PACC received . . . We didn't receive that much complaints in DILG and DSWD," he said.