MANILA - The local government of San Juan on Thursday said it needed more time to distribute cash aid to poor families under the national government's social amelioration program during the coronavirus pandemic.
"I believe in the next 5 to 10 days we should be able to release already," said Mayor Francis Zamora.
LGUs have until Thursday, April 30 to complete the SAP distribution.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) earlier said that there was no excuse for LGUs to delay the distribution of cash aid since the DSWD downloaded the funds to them already.
The government has allotted P200 billion to fund the project. Under the SAP, the government provides cash aid ranging from P5,000 to P8,000 to 18 million poor families in 2 tranches from April to May.
"Ating naiintindihan na mayroon tayong deadline na hinahabol," Zamora said in an interview on DZMM.
But he said they are faced with the challenges of limited slots at 16,309 and validating those qualified to receive the cash aid.
"It's really a matter of validation. I would rather submit a very clean list kaysa magmadali. Kung magmadali ka at may maling benepisaryo at na-release ang P8,000 at nakalagay sa mga direktiba na kailangang i-reimburse 'yan, paano kung nagamit na pambili ng gamot, pagkain sino ang magsasauli n'yan," he pointed out.
Zamora stressed that the city is still at 10 percent in terms of distribution of SAP to beneficiaries because they only started releasing the funds the other day.
"The releasing will be fast ang matagal d'yan validation," he said.
He also revealed that Manila Mayors, including himself, have signed a letter initiated by Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chairman Danny Lim, addressed to DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista requesting to extend until May 15 the April 30 deadline.
"Sapagkat hindi lang naman po ang San Juan ang nahihirapan. All LGUs nahihirapan," he said.