MANILA - About 1 in 4 beneficiaries have received the first tranche of the national government's cash aid to help the poorest of Filipinos cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said Thursday.
Some 18 million of the most vulnerable families were the program's intended beneficiaries of P5,000 to P8,000 in cash aid for two months.
The social welfare department has downloaded to local governments 91 percent of the funds for the aid's first tranche, and 25.4 percent of the amount has been distributed, said DILG Secretary Eduardo Año.
"Bago kasi na-download medyo maraming issues na ni-resolve," he told DZMM.
(Before funds could be downloaded, many issues had to be resolved.)
Local governments should release the cash aid within 4 days after getting the funds, Año said.
In Metro Manila, the cities of Pasig, Parañaque and Marikina had the fastest cash distribution, he said.
Some local governments, however, asked the DILG to push back the payout deadline, said Año.
"Pero kami, pinu-push na namin iyong (we are pushing the) LGUs to comply," he said.
(But we are pushing the LGUs to comply.)
He also instructed local governments to submit a list of residents who were protesting their exclusion from the cash aid so that the government could find funds for them.
"Kung gaano mo kabilis na mai-submit iyan, ganoon din kabilis na magagawan ng aksyon... Do your job, stop complaining," he told LGUs.
(How fast you submit that is how fast a solution can be found.)
The entire Luzon, home to about half of the country's population, is on lockdown until April 30 to slow the spread of COVID-19. President Rodrigo Duterte will decide Thursday whether or not to extend the community quarantine.