LOCAL government units (LGUs) have been given an extension of four to seven days for the distribution of the cash assistance under the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) to beneficiaries in their areas of jurisdiction.
Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año said SAP distribution in Metro Manila, Cebu City, Davao City and in the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Rizal and Bulacan is extended until May 7.
Other LGUs were given four more days.
The DILG earlier set April 30 as the deadline for the distribution of the SAP cash assistance, which ranges from P5,000 to P8,000 per family. About 18 million families nationwide were programmed to receive this amount.
Año said among the issues raised by LGU officials were the need to maintain physical distancing during the distribution and constraints in the validation of qualified beneficiaries.
"Nakita namin na valid naman yung kanilang reasons kasi kaya naman talaga nila i-distribute yan (cash aid) sa takdang oras, pero mava-violate yung physical at social distancing," Año said in a Palace briefing.
In a radio interview, Año said they will let LGUs finish the distribution of cash aid even beyond the deadline but noted that they have to explain the delay.
He said if they do not find the explanation valid, charges will be filed against them.
The DILG chief reminded the LGUs to immediately prepare liquidation documents for the first tranche of SAP distribution so that funds for the second tranche will immediately be prepared.
The national government has allotted P200 billion to provide financial assistance to over 18 million poor families affected by the crisis arising from the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
The pandemic has prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to impose an enhanced community quarantine in Luzon. Local government officials have imposed similar measures across the country.
The ECQ has been extended until May 15 in the National Capital Region (Metro Manila), Central Luzon except Aurora, Calabarzon, Pangasinan, Benguet including Baguio City, Iloilo province including Iloilo City, Cebu province including Cebu City, Bacolod City and Davao City. (SunStar Philippines)