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Palace laments slow distribution of 2nd tranche of COVID-19 cash aid

Malacañang on Monday lamented the slow distribution of the second tranche of the emergency subsidy for low-income households affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the government has so far released P20.1 billion to 3.37 million families under the Social Amelioration Program (SAP). The government aims to cover 17 million households.

“Mabagal po talaga, masasabi ko po na nabagalan din ang Palasyo sa proseso ng pangalawang tranche,” Roque said in a televised briefing.

Roque said the Palace is counting on the promise of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) that they will finish the payout by the end of the month.

“Maraming dahilan po ang sinasabi ng DSWD pero tinatanggap ho namin ang deklarasyon ng DSWD na hindi matatapos ang July na hindi maibibigay ang kabuuan ng ayuda maliban doon sa mga walang access sa internet,” he added.

“The Palace will hold DSWD to that.”

However, DSWD Undersecretary Danilo Pamonag admitted before an inquiry by the House of Representatives committee on good government and public accountability last week that the distribution might run until August.

Pamonag said there may be mobility constraints in reaching far-flung or geographically-isolated and disadvantaged areas, which could take a day or two to reach.

He added that delays may also occur if implementers of the SAP need to undergo 14-day quarantine upon exposure to COVID-19 cases.

Pamonag also said there may be difficulties in reaching conflict-affected areas due to security threats. — RSJ, GMA News