TACLOBAN CITY – At least 47 out of 143 local government units (LGU) in Eastern Visayas have completed the payout of emergency cash subsidy to families affected by the health crisis, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) reported on Wednesday.
“Funds have been downloaded to all local government units in the region and they are simultaneously doing the payout,” Marie Angela Gopalan, DSWD 8 (Eastern Visayas) director, told reporters.
In Southern Leyte, all listed beneficiaries in the towns of Anahawan, Hinundayan, Libagon, Limasawa, Macrohon, Padre Burgos, San Juan, San Ricardo, Silago, and Tomas Oppus have received the cash assistance, along with those in the Leyte towns of MacArthur, Leyte, Bato, Hindang, Inopacan, Javier, Mahaplag, and Matalom.
The payout has also been completed in the towns of Arteche, Giporlos, Hernani, Jipapad, Lawaan, Maslog, Maydolong, and Quinapondan in Eastern Samar, and Biri, Bobon, Lope de Vega, and Lapinig towns in Northern Samar.
The DSWD has already served all qualified families in Almagro, Gandara, Matuguinao, Pagsanghan, San Jorge, Sta. Margarita, Sto. Niño, Tagapul-an, Basey, Calbiga, Jiabong, Paranas, Pinabacdao, San Sebastian, Sta. Rita, Talalora, and Zumarraga, all in Samar.
The deadline for the cash release was on April 30 and was extended in the region until May 4.
However, the majority of local governments are not yet done with the distribution, Gopalan said.
“The local government units have requested the Department of the Interior and Local Government for another extension and they are continuously conducting the cash distribution while waiting for their response,” she added.
Gopalan noted that the payout was delayed in some areas due to the validation of the list based on the guidelines, while some LGUs lack manpower to facilitate the distribution.
“We are implementing social distancing and other safety measures. Some do the house-to-house distribution that cannot be done in one to two days. Also, not all employees of each local government can be a disbursing officer, who can withdraw the money from the bank and lead the payout,” she said.
Under Republic Act 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, financial support will be granted to indigent families affected by the quarantine measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
The cash assistance prioritizes those in the most vulnerable sector and the informal workers and is granted per family, not individually.
“The government doesn’t have unlimited funds to cover all, so we manage it carefully and release them to the most deserving families,” Gopalan said, adding that other government agencies also provide a social amelioration program for those affected by the health crisis.
As of May 5, the DSWD has already released more than PHP2 billion in Eastern Visayas for the PHP5,000 emergency cash subsidy of some 406,738 families. (ia/PNA)