Palace: Govt extends deadline for ECQ aid distribution until May 15

LOCAL governments have been given until May15 to finish the distribution of financial assistance to households affected by stricter lockdown measures in Metro Manila and adjacent provinces, Malacañang said on Tuesday.

In a virtual press briefing, Palace spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said the extension of the deadline was granted following the request of various local officials.

In-extend ang deadline na makumpleto ang pamahahagi ng financial assistance hanggang May 15, 2021 (The deadline for the completion of distribution of financial assistance has been extended to May 15, 2021),” Roque said.

Roque said the extension was decided to avoid mass gatherings even as the distribution process was being adjusted to make it “flexible”.

He noted that some local government officials were also still arranging the method of distributing the aid through digital means or house-to-house.

Tayo ay nasa panahon ng Covid-19. Bawal ang malakihang pagtitipon-tipon. Kailangan pangalagaan ang kaligtasan at kalusugan ng lahat (We are living during the Covid-19 times. Large gatherings are prohibited. The safety and health of everyone must be protected),” he added.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has told local government units (LGUs) they must complete the distribution of financial aid in 15 days after receipt of the funds or within 30 days if the assistance is in-kind.

President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the release of P23 billion worth of emergency subsidy to around 22.9 million beneficiaries affected by the implementation of ECQ in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal.

Each recipient can avail of either in-kind or cash assistance amounting to P1,000 per person or P4,000 per family.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has provided the LGUs with a list of qualified beneficiaries for the latest round of financial aid following the reimposition of ECQ in NCR Plus on March 29.

So far, the DSWD reported that over 7.4 million people have received the financial assistance.

Local government units have distributed  around P7.4 billion in supplemental aid in NCR Plus.

The Greater Manila Area is currently under modified enhanced community quarantine until end-April.