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Sotto, Cayetano say slow pace of aid distribution found at local levels

The two senators who principally authored the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act on Tuesday reiterated that the delay on the distribution of emergency cash aid stems from the problems on the local government level.

"Ninety-seven percent na downloaded ng national government. Nasa ibaba ang bagal at problema," Senate President Vicente Sotto III said in a message to reporters.

He once again pressed for the implementation of the national identification system for a more organized and faster distribution of the cash assistance to the target 18 million poor Filipino families.

Senator Pia Cayetano also shared the same observation.

"This goes back to 'yung unang napansin ng Senate President natin na 'yung national ID kasi hindi agad na-implement," she said in a virtual conference.

Cayetano underscored that based on President Rodrigo Duterte's fifth weekly report to Congress, the total disbursed amount for non-Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries was over P79 billion but only P14 billion has so far been received by affected residents.

The case for those who are 4Ps beneficiaries with ATM cards is better, she pointed out.

"Yung 4Ps distribution, palibhasa nasa record na sila ang total disbursement of P16 billion, P16 billion na rin ang na-receive. May record na sila, may files na sila, may bank account na sila so ganoon kadali, to the centavos na-deliver 'yung perang 'yun," she said.

The overpopulation, and presence of transients and stranded workers in Metro Manila are also adding to the burden of local government units, she further said.

According to Duterte's latest report to Congress, over P96.8 billion of the P100 billion alloted for the first wave of the social amelioration program has already been disbursed.

However, only P31 billion has been received so far by 6.2 million families—only a third of the 18 million total target beneficiaries—more than a month after the enhanced community quarantine has been placed over Luzon and other high-risk areas.

The Philippine Statistics Authority said that the mass registration for the national ID system has been moved from July to October due to the COVID-19 situation. -NB, GMA News