The sight of residents lining up not to receive cash assistance but to return it touched government workers in charge of the distribution in Mandaluyong City.
Some Barangay Addition Hills residents fell in line at noon to return their P8,000 aid, saying that they have already received cash assistance from other government agencies, according to a 24 Oras report by Emil Sumangil on Thursday.
"Kikitain ko naman po ito eh, so 'yung mga hindi kikita nito, sa kanila na," said a young woman.
"Marami rin po kasi ang nangangailangan na tao kaya ko po binabalik. Kasi marami din ang nangangailangan na umiiyak na lang na hindi sila nakakuha," another said.
Sanny Cerezo, a driver and a part-time barangay tanod, also returned his social amelioration cash.
"Kahapon ko lang natanggap eh. Hindi naman sinabi sa akin na may makukuha ako sa SSS, driver po kasi ako eh," Cerezo said, adding that he wanted to return the money so that it could benefit others.
More than 20 residents have returned their social amelioration cash since Wednesday night, cheering up the barangay officials.
"'Yung puyat namin tapos may makikita ka mga kababayan mo na talagang very concerned at nagiging tapat sila. Biro mo pera na 'yan, hawak na nila, talagang nakakataba ng puso," Barangay Addition Hills Chairman Carlito Cernal said.
The hard lockdown in Addition Hills ended on Thursday, resulting in an increase in the number of people on the streets despite the ongoing ECQ.
Addition Hills officials, however, said they will not hesitate to implement the hard lockdown once again should COVID-19 cases continue to increase in their area, as 16 new cases were recorded on Wednesday night.
The new cases, which brought the total of positive cases in Addition Hills to 59, were not seen to have manifested symptoms of COVID-19. The new patients also seemed to have come from only one area.
Mass rapid testing continues in Addition Hills and another barangay, Mauay.
"Out of 811, 91 'yung nag-positive... Pinadaan na namin ito para sa PCR test, so waiting for the result... Ang NCMH [National Center For Mental Health], 505 ang test nila sa rapid, 56 ang nag-positive... Ang Addition Hills, sa 3,000 na pina-test namin, ang nag-positive doon nasa 500, so lahat din waiting for the result ng PCR," Mandaluyong City Mayor Menchie Abalos said.
Meanwhile, San Juan City moved the distribution of cash aid to an air-conditioned arena. The city expects to finish its disbursement this week.
The delay occurred following some barangays' late submission of lists.
"'Yung mga SAP forms na hawak ng ating mga barangay officials na napamigay na nila, hindi ito tutugma dito sa master list naman na binibigay nila sa amin kung kaya't kahit kami nagpe-payout na, araw-araw, mayroon pa ring humahabol claiming that they deserve to receive the SAP," San Juan Mayor Francis Zamora said.
Eric Esmas and his co-workers from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) National Headquarters have slept at the San Juan Arena for days just to finish the payout.
They said they could bear being yelled at, frowned upon and disrespected by some residents as long as they felt they did their job well.
"May mga bagay kasi na kailangan mong tanggapin at intindihin. Una, feeling siya na tumatakbo sa mga tao ngayon dahil nasa survival stage tayo. Nakakaasar din pero you have to control your feelings eh, I'm a government employee, I swore to do this," Esmas said.
"Humihingi lang po ako ng malawak na pang-unawa lalo na po sa aming mga kawani ng gobyerno dahil ginagawa naman po namin lahat ng paraan upang paglingkuran po kayong lahat," San Juan City Treasurer's Office employee Hazel Andrea Teberio said.
The distribution of cash aid on Mandaluyong and San Juan City residents is almost at 100%. — Jamil Santos/BM, GMA News