Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año (File photo)

MANILA – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has extended the deadline for the distribution of ayuda (assistance) to low-income individuals and families in Metro Manila to August 31, 2021, upon the request of some National Capital Region (NCR) local government units (LGUs).

“Upon the request of the LGUs and with the concurrence of Secretary (Rolando)Bautista and Secretary (Delfin) Lorenzana, we have decided to give the LGUs in the National Capital Region (NCR) until the end of the month to complete the distribution of ayuda,” DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said in a media release on Wednesday.

Sa kabilang banda naman ay binabati ko ang Caloocan City LGU sa pangunguna ni Mayor Oscar Malapitan, sampu ng kanyang mga city officials, barangay officials at volunteers, dahil sila pa lamang ang natatanging LGU na nakakumpleto ng pamamahagi ng ayuda sa kanilang nasasakupan at natapos pa nila ito bago mag-deadline. Congratulations sa inyo! (I would like to laud Caloocan City LGU, led by Mayor Oscar Malapitan, along with city officials, barangay officials and volunteers, for it is the only LGU having completed the distribution of ayuda in its jurisdiction before the deadline. Congratulation to all of you!),” he added.

He also commended the other NCR LGUs because a total of 80.96 percent or PHP9.1-billion out of the PHP11.2-billion ayuda from the national government has been distributed by the LGUs to the beneficiaries as of August 24, 2021.

“This means that for every 10 low-income individuals, eight have already received their ayuda. Ito ay katumbas ng mahigit sa siyam na milyong katao sa buong Metro Manila na nakatanggap at nakinabang na ng ayuda (This translates to more than nine million people in Metro Manila who received and benefitted from the assistance). This is the fastest distribution we’ve had in NCR since the start of the pandemic and we did this with people complying with minimum health standards,” he said.

A total of 9,101,999 low-income individuals have received their ayuda in NCR from August 11-24, 2021.

Año said the decision to extend the deadline for the payout was made after some Metro Manila LGUs requested more time in completing the payout given the limited mobility and manpower to finish the payout due to the increasing cases of Covid-19 in NCR.

“The mayors also need more time to process appeals and grievances so it is justified for us to give an extension,” he said.

Metro Manila LGUs were initially given 15 days to complete the ayuda payout. The distribution of ayuda started on August 11 and was supposed to end on August 25, subject to appeals for extension from the LGUs.

Under Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) No. 3, s. 2021 signed by the DILG, Department of Social Welfare and Development, and Department of National Defense, those affected by the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in NCR will receive financial assistance of PHP1,000 per low-income individual with a maximum of PHP4,000 per low-income family.

The whole of Metro Manila was placed under ECQ from August 6 to 20, 2021 pursuant to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases Resolution No. 130-E.

The DILG chief said nearing the finish line and garnering the highest percentage of ayuda distributed are the municipality of Pateros, and the cities of Pasay, Manila, and Mandaluyong with 97.34 percent, 95.16 percent, 91.57 percent, and 85.84 percent, respectively.

Caloocan was the first to complete the distribution of its ayuda.

A total of eight LGUs in NCR have at least an 80 percent distribution rate as of August 24.

Año assured the public that the DILG, in close coordination with LGUs and the Philippine National Police, is ensuring the safety and security of all those involved during the distribution of ayuda, as well as the strict observance of minimum public health standards against the spread of Covid-19. (PR)