MANILA - Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte on Tuesday said her administration will try to include in its relief distribution the 450 families in Rodriguez town, Rizal who were relocated from the city last year.
The families, who were relocated from Barangays Old Balara, Payatas, Bagumbayan and Baesa to the Rodriguez village of San Antonio in June 2019, haven't received relief goods since the implementation of the lockdown in Luzon.
In a text message to ABS-CBN News, Belmonte said the delay of the relief distribution for the families was due to a misunderstanding on how local government units (LGUs) should dole out aid during the COVID-19 crisis.
"Hindi lang sila nabigyan ng ayuda nang mas maaga sapagkat, ayon sa pag-unawa ng lungsod sa guidelines ng (inter-agency on coronavirus response), tungkulin ng bawat LGU na tulungan ang mga tao na nasa kinasasakupan nilang mga lugat kahit hindi nila botante,” Belmonte said.
Belmonte said that they thought Rodriguez officials would be the ones to distribute relief goods and cash aid to the families.
It turns out that under the Rizal provincial mandate, relocated families will only be registered as residents in the province after 5 years.
San Antonio village officials said they have been berated by the families as Quezon City officials haven't given them aid since the lockdown was implemented.
Due to hunger, people reportedly have resorted to fistfights, according to village official Reynaldo Trinidad. He said the displaced families have been asking where was the government's social amelioration program (SAP), which aims to provide cash assistance to families with no income.
“Inaaway na po talaga kami. Unang-una nasaan na raw po yung SAP na sinasabi nung government," he said.
"Kailangan po talaga naming makipag-ugnayan sa LGU ng Quezon City para po magkaroon ng financial assistance yun pong mga nasasakupan namin."
Belmonte said they are in the process in agreeing with Rodriguez officials to provide assistance to the displaced families.
"Nasa proseso na ng pagbubuo at pagre-review ng MOA (memorandum of agreement) sa pagitan ng dalawang LGU at di lang naisasakatuparan ito dahil naabutan ng public health pandemic,” she said.
As of posting, officials of the former villages of the relocated families are the only ones to have extended assistance, Trinidad said.