MANILA – Over PHP57.49 billion have already been distributed to some 934 local government units (LGUs) to help them respond to the needs of their poor constituents affected by coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said on Wednesday.
“Since the allocation for the 18 million low-income families has a total of about PHP80.9 billion, the PHP57.49 billion already distributed to the different LGUs account for 72.3 percent of the fund,” Nograles, spokesperson of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, said in a virtual presser aired on state-run PTV-4.
Nograles said the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is targeting the transfer of the entire funds to all LGUs by this week to ensure the speedy distribution of emergency relief to 18 million poor families amid the health crisis.
He said a total of PHP922-million emergency subsidies have so far been given to around 170,989 low-income households who are not beneficiaries of the DSWD’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).
“Bukod pa po ito sa 3.72 million 4Ps beneficiaries na nakatanggap na ng top-up subsidy nila (They are different from the 3.72 million 4Ps beneficiaries who already received their top-up subsidy),” Nograles said.
Nograles said some 40,418 public utility vehicle drivers have also received their emergency subsidies.
He added that the DSWD has distributed a total of PHP61.9 million to 13,135 clients for Covid-19 concerns under the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation program.
The entire Luzon was placed under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) until April 30 to arrest the spread of Covid-19, which already infected 5,223 individuals in the country.
The government has implemented a Social Amelioration Program (SAP) which allows the distribution of cash aid ranging from PHP5,000 to PHP8,000 to around 18 million poor families.
Those who are eligible to receive cash aid are underprivileged, homeless, indigent, and indigenous families.
Other beneficiaries are families with members who are either informal or self-employed worker, rice farmer, fisherman, senior citizen, person with disability, pregnant or lactating woman, solo parent, and distressed overseas Filipino worker.
About PHP200 billion of the PHP275-billion earmarked for the government’s Covid-19 response would be spent for the granting of emergency subsidies to low-income households.
LGUs are required to seal a memorandum of agreement with DSWD to facilitate the transfer of funds for the implementation of SAP.
The DSWD is also mandated to validate the roster of beneficiaries within 15 days after the distribution of cash relief.
Nograles earlier warned that LGUs would face criminal, civil and administrative sanctions if they refuse to follow the guidelines for the distribution of emergency subsidies to poor households. (PNA)