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Beneficiaries claiming cash aid exempted from ECQ curfew -DILG

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Thursday announced that beneficiaries of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) who have yet to receive their financial assistance are exempted from the enhanced community quarantine curfew.

DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya told GMA News that this was ordered by Secretary Eduardo Año.

“Secretary Año po ay nagbigay na ng kautusan sa Philippine National Police na i-exempt sa curfew ang lahat ng mga constituents na magpupunta o pupuntahan o tatanggap ng SAP beyond, even during the curfew hours para hindi po maantala ang ating pagbibigay,” Malaya said.

“If you need to do the distribution 24/7, which some of you have been doing already the past few days, please do so kasi nga itong pondong ito ay kinakailangan ng ating mga kababayan last week pa,” he added.

The DILG has extended the deadline for the distribution of the financial assistance under the SAP until May 10. This is the second extension already. The first deadline was set on April 30, which was extended to May 7.

The extension of the deadline will be implemented nationwide.

“We received requests from the League of Municipalities, the League of Cities, the Metro Manila Development Authority asking for more time to complete the distribution. Alam naman natin nagkukumahog sila. But of course, because the sheer number of recipients. This is the largest financial assistance program kasi in the history of our country,” Malaya said.

Malaya also reported that as of 10 p.m. on Wednesday, the distribution rate of the SAP financial assistance was at 77.76% , with 947 local government units having completed it.

He said the best performing regions are CARAGA with a 99.88% distribution rate, Bicol with 99.51%, and Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) with 89.26%.

The DILG expects the distribution rate to reach 80% of the 18 million beneficiaries by the end of the day.

Malaya said the three-day extension would be enough to complete the remaining 20%.

“The next three days is reasonable time for them to complete 100%. So I was told by Sec. Año kanina that we will no longer extend this,” he said.

Malaya warned local government officials who will fail to completed the distribution that they will be issued show cause orders.

“All LGUs that have not completed this by the end of business hours on May 10 will definitely receive a show cause order from the DILG for them to explain. As per standard operating protocol of the DILG, if their response is not acceptable to the department, we will pursue administrative cases with the Office of the Ombudsman,” he said. --KBK, GMA News