91% of LGUs beat cash aid distribution deadline -DILGBy ANNA FELICIA BAJO,GMA News
Almost 91% of local government units in the country were able to beat the deadline for the distribution of emergency cash subsidy under the government's Social Amelioration Program, according to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).
Interviewed on Unang Balita on Monday, a day after the May 10 deadline, DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said the percentage was equivalent to a total of 1,265 out of 1,634 LGUs across the country.
"Ang atin pong report galing sa ating mga regions as of 12 midnight last night is 1,265 na LGUs po ang nakahabol sa deadline, natapos nila lahat. This equates to a national payout rate of 90%... 90.86%... almost 91% po as of midnight last night," he said.
Regarding the 9% of LGUs that have yet to finish distribution, Malaya said they expect the rate to decrease once reports from field offices come in.
"Lumalabas po na nine percent as of light night... pero tuloy-tuloy nga po kasi itong pamimigay natin... Habang tinatanggap natin 'yung numero from the fields, mas liliit po ang numerong ito," he said.
Interviewed on Dobol B sa News TV on Monday, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Director Irene Dumlao said the LGUs that were unable to complete the distribution had requested the DILG to give them more time.
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año had extended the nationwide distribution of the cash assistance from the national government to May 10 due to the challenges being encountered by areas with a large number of population such as the National Capital Region, Cavite, Rizal, Laguna, Bulacan, Cebu and Davao City.
Numbers by region
In a separate statement, the DILG said of the 1,265 LGUs, 70 are in Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR); 120 in Ilocos Region; 59 in Cagayan Valley; 107 in Central Luzon; 71 in CALABARZON; 69 in MIMAROPA; and 112 in Bicol Region.
Meanwhile, in Western Visayas, 129 LGUs completed the payout; 88 in Central Visayas; and 126 in Eastern Visayas. In Zamboanga Peninsula, 72 LGUs completed the payout; 88 in Northern Mindanao; 36 in Davao Region; 45 in SOCCSKSARGEN; and 73 in CARAGA.
The agency said the top five performing regions are CARAGA with 100% payout rate followed by Bicol Region with 99.96%. Next on the list are SOCCSKSARGEN with 98.92%; CAR with 96.8%; and Zamboanga Peninsula with 96.47%.
It added that Central Luzon registered a 95.34% payout rate followed by Ilocos Region with 95%; Cagayan Valley with 92.82%; MIMAROPA with 92.06%; Northern Mindanao with 90.13%; Western Visayas with 88.77%; Eastern Visayas with 85.28%; National Capital Region (NCR) with 85.13%; CALABARZON with 82.7%; Central Visayas with 80.45%; and Davao Region with 74%.
In Metro Manila, Caloocan City has the highest payout rate at 99%, the DILG said.
The agency will start the issuance of show cause orders to LGUs which have very poor performance in the distribution of the emergency subsidy, according to Año.
"The show cause order that will be issued to the LGU is not only their accountability to the DILG but most importantly to their constituents. Kailangan nilang ipaliwanag kung ano-ano ang mga problema’t balakid kung bakit ‘di sila umabot sa deadline,” he said.
No more extension
Malaya said the deadline would no longer be extended. However, he said local officials must continue to distribute the cash subsidy to qualified beneficiaries in their respective localities.
"Hindi po ibig sabihin na nag-deadline na tayo ay hindi na nila uubusin or tatapusin 'yung kanilang pamimigay, so long as di po binabawi ng DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) ang pondo na nasa kanila," Malaya said.
"Ang instruction po ni Secretary Eduardo Año sa lahat ng LGUs ay tuloy-tuloy lang po ang pamimigay niyo kasi kailangan niyong pagsilbihan ang inyong constituents," he added.
Palace echoes DILG
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque echoed Malaya’s statement.
“Patuloy pa rin dapat ang pamimigay until bawiin ang pondo ng DSWD. Tingin ko, kung mayroon naman talagang basehan ay baka mag-isyu ng show cause letter ang DILG, pero importante po makarating pa rin ang ayuda doon sa natitirang 9% na hindi pa po nakakatanggap,” Roque said in a televised briefing.
Roque also expressed optimism that the distribution of the second tranche of the cash aid will take place soon.
“Dapat itong Mayo, kasi talagang it was intended for May. So, I’m sure ngayong halos tapos na po iyong first tranche ay sisimulan na rin po nila iyong second tranche,” he said.
Around 18 million low-income families were targeted to receive monthly cash subsidies ranging from P5,000 to P8,000 for two months as mandated by the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act (Republic Act 11469).
The Inter-Agency Task Force has recommended to increase the number of SAP beneficiaries to 23 million low-income families.
Earlier, Año said once the DSWD accepts the liquidation of the LGUs on the first tranche, the agency will immediately hand the second tranche of the cash subsidy to the local officials.
To ensure a fast distribution of the second tranche, Malaya said the national government has allowed the use of ATM debit cards as well as GCash and PayMaya in handing the money to beneficiaries.
"Ang isa pong pagbabago dito sa second tranche ay gagamit na po tayo ng electronic means para doon sa mga LGUs na handang gamitin ito. Ang ibig sabihin 'yung mga ATM debit cards ay gagamitin na natin para makarating ng mas mabilis sa ating mga kababayan," Malaya said. --with Virgil Lopez/KBK, GMA News