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Gov't apologizes for slow distribution of financial aid amid COVID-19 crisis

The government on Monday apologized for the delay in the distribution of cash subsidies intended for poor households amid the COVID-19 crisis.

In a televised briefing, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles assured beneficiaries that they will receive the cash aid as soon as possible.

“Sa ating mga kababayan ng naghihintay po para sa mga subsidies na ito, humihingi po kami ng paumanhin at pasensiya ngunit makakaasa po kayo na ginagawa po natin ang lahat ng ating makakaya upang mapaabot sa inyo ang tulong na ito sa lalong madaling panahon,” Nograles said.

Data from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)—the lead agency for the social amelioration program—showed that so far only 21% or P17 billion out of the P80-billion cash subsidy that was released to its field offices had reached the beneficiaries.

Nograles said DSWD is already working on resolving the issues concerning the distribution of the subsidies.

These issues include security, the reconciliation of list of beneficiaries and logistics, especially with regard to remote communities in the provinces.

He also asked the local government units to submit the signed memorandum of agreement and budget proposal to expedite the release of the funds.

“Maliban sa pinag-iingatan po natin ang pamamahagi, sinisiguro din po natin na makakarating ito sa inyo na walang bawas at aberya,” Nograles said.

Around 18 million low-income households will be targeted to receive monthly cash subsidies amounting to P5,000 to P8,000 for two months as mandated by the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act (Republic Act 11469).

Covered by the cash aid are indigent senior citizens, persons with disability, overseas Filipinos in distress, solo parents, indigent indigenous peoples, pregnant and lactating women, underprivileged sector and homeless citizens, and informal economy workers affected by the community quarantines meant to combat the spread of the new coronavirus.

The government has set aside P200 billion for the emergency subsidy program. -NB, GMA News

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