MANILA — The national government is giving local authorities more time to distribute the aid meant to help 22.9 million low income earners cope with tightened COVID-19 restrictions, Malacañang said on Tuesday.
"In-extend ang deadline na makumpleto ang pamamahagi ng financial assistance hanggang a-15 ng Mayo 2021," Palace spokesman Harry Roque said in a press briefing.
(The deadline to complete the distribution of financial assistance is extended until May 15.)
Some local governments appealed for the deadline's extension, citing the ban on mass gatherings. The automated or house-to-house aid distribution methods are also being tweaked to make them "more flexible", Roque said.
Previously, local governments were given 15 days to distribute the cash aid for residents in Metro Manila and surrounding Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal provinces, which were under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), the toughest lockdown level, from March 29 until April 11.
The area has shifted to modified ECQ until April 30.
Up to 4 members of a family can each get P1,000 in aid.
Roque said on Monday that authorities have distributed only P4 billion out of the P22.9-billion funds.
Alleged inefficiency in aid distribution has prompted the opening of "community pantries" across the country, which offer donated food and other necessities to whoever need them.
Roque on Monday said he did not see the pantries as a "condemnation" of government.
"It simply shows the best in us during the worst of times," he said.
Video courtesy of PTV