MANILA, Philippines – Only eight percent, or equivalent to more than P1 billion, of the fund allotted for government assistance has been distributed to low-income families affected by the 2-week enhanced community quarantine previously imposed in the NCR Plus areas, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said.
During President Rodrigo Duterte’s Talk to the People briefing on Monday night, DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista said that P1.7 billion of the total P22.9 billion government assistance aid has been disbursed to beneficiaries.
Citing data from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) covering the payouts from April 7 to 9, Bautista said around 1.7 million beneficiaries in the National Capital Region, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal have already received their aid.
The government earlier said that each beneficiary will receive P1,000 or a maximum of P4,000 per family.
Bautista admitted that the rollout of the assistance was off to a “slow start” but assured that the process will speed up in the next few days.
“Makikita po natin dito na talagang may slow start but as experienced last year, na talagang start po talagang mabagal, after four to five days doon na po nag-start ng pag-distribute ng special assistance,” he said.
The DSWD chief also reported to Duterte that a joint monitoring and inspection committee has been set up for every local government to ensure that the aid is properly distributed.
Grievance committees were also created where recipients can raise their concerns on government assistance.
Metro Manila and four nearby provinces – called NCR Plus – were placed under ECQ from March 29 to April 11 in a bid to slow down the COVID-19 spread.
The said areas were reverted back to modified ECQ starting April 12 until April 30.