MANILA –Local government units (LGUs) have so far distributed 74 percent of the PHP22.9-billion financial aid from the national government for areas placed under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año said PHP17 billion of the total amount earmarked for the cash aid in the National Capital Region Plus, which includes Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal, have reached the beneficiaries.
“Out of the PHP22.9 billion na inyo pong inutos na ipamahagi ay nakapag-disburse na po tayo ng PHP17 billion or equivalent po ito sa 17,037,122 beneficiaries out of the total of 22,915,422 beneficiaries or a total of 74.35 percent. Iyan na po ‘yung napamahagi natin,” Año told President Rodrigo Duterte during a pre-recorded Cabinet meeting on Monday night.
In Metro Manila, 8,632,336 out of 11,172,988, or 77.26 percent beneficiaries, in 17 LGUs have received aid.
Meanwhile, 2,188,380 out of 3,444,488, or 63.53 percent, in Cavite benefited from the government’s cash aid while in Rizal, 66.61 percent or 1,740,338 out of the 2,612,824 families received their “ayuda” (assistance).
In Laguna, 2,307,825 out of 2,718,083, or 84.91 percent of the recipients, while 2,168,243 out of the 2,967,039, or 73.08 percent, in Bulacan got their share.
Año also said they received 59,669 complaints on alleged anomalies in the aid distribution, with 24.421 resolved.
The deadline for the distribution of ECQ aid was earlier extended until May 15 to give local officials enough time to ensure that health protocols are being observed during the activity.
“Ang target po natin ay lahat ng complaint na ito ay maresolba at masagot ng ating mga LGUs bago dumating ang May 15, at totally 100 percent po maipamahagi ang lahat ng ayuda (Our target is to resolve all complaints and for LGUs to give all aid, 100 percent, before May 15),” Año said.
He also assured administrative and criminal charges will be filed against local chief executives (LCEs) who fail to prosecute violators of mass gatherings.
“Nagpalabas ng memo circular ang DILG. Ito ay naka-address sa ating mga local chief executives, sa BARMM minister, sa ating mga regional directors ng DILG, sa chief PNP, upang i-define po ano ang mga roles ng ating local chief executives sa pagpapatupad ng minimum public health standard, lalo na po sa prohibition against public or mass gathering (DILG has issued a memo to local chief executives, regional directors of DILG, and the police defining their roles in carrying out minimum public health standards, especially in the prohibition of mass gatherings),” he said.
Mass gatherings were identified under the varying community quarantine levels with the duties of the governors, mayors, police and village captains clearly defined.
LGUS also have “supervisory powers’’ and liabilities under the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) guidelines that need to be observed during the quarantine period.
Another salient point of the memo is the citizens’ feedback mechanism where LGUs are mandated to have complaint centers and hotline numbers where people can report or air their grievances.
He warned that the Philippine National Police (PNP) will strictly enforce the law against mass gatherings and will be ready to make arrests even against non-complying LCEs.
“Ang PNP po ay tutulong sa ating mga local chief executives sa pagpapatupad nito. Pero ang PNP po, they will go after the violators and even against local chief executives na hindi magpapatupad ng mga batas (The PNP will help our local chief executives in enforcing the law, but they will also go after violators and even local chief executives who will fail to implement the law),” Año warned. (PNA)