Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte wants the speedy distribution of emergency relief to families to help them cope with the health crisis and the implementation of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
“Well, syempre po, naiintindihan ng ating Presidente na napakahirap talaga ng buhay habang tayo ay nasa ECQ (Of course the President understands how difficult life is while there is ECQ),” Roque said in an interview with ANC, when asked if Duterte is satisfied with government’s response to Covid-19.
The national government has released PHP275 billion as an emergency fund to address the Covid-19 outbreak in the country.
Some PHP200 billion of the PHP275 billion have been allocated for the implementation of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP), which provides for the distribution of emergency subsidies ranging from PHP5,000 to PHP8,000 to 18 million poor families.
Roque said Duterte was elated by Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año’s recent move to impose a deadline on the distribution of emergency relief to low-income households.
He said the national government will impose disciplinary action on local government units (LGUs) that will fail to distribute the cash assistance on or before Thursday.
“All LGUs must disburse to the intended beneficiaries yung ating (our) SAP. Otherwise, they will be issued the show cause letter and subject to disciplinary action,” Roque said.
“I think that reflects the President’s general predicament. Money is there to be given to those in need. It should have been given yesterday (Tuesday) and today (Wednesday),” he added.
Año on Monday reminded LGUs that they only have until April 30 to complete the distribution of government subsidy under SAP to the qualified beneficiaries.
A memorandum of agreement was signed between LGUs and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in a bid to fast-track the distribution of emergency subsidies to poor families.
Around 8.7 million of the 18 million beneficiaries have so far received the cash aid, based on DSWD’s SAP Monitoring Dash Board for Emergency Subsidy.
Some PHP80.75 billion have already been given to LGUs for the payout of financial assistance to 18 million low-income households.
However, LGUs have only disbursed PHP29.52 billion out of the PHP80.75 billion downloaded to them. (PNA)