Only half of the first tranche of the government’s cash assistance program for April has been given as of the end of the month, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said on Thursday.
Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua, citing a report from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), said that only half of the funds for the first tranche of assistance for the month of April have been handed out.
“I was told by the DSWD that as of today, we have already distributed 50% of the first tranche,” he said in a virtual briefing.
He was referring to the DSWD’s Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Program which targets to aid 18,046,093 beneficiaries affected by the enhanced community quarantine.
The DSWD earlier this week blamed logistical and security concerns for the delay in the disbursement of such cash assistance.
“We have to of course, help the people and get their cash grants but on the other hand, if we just distribute without any regard to the possible leakage or governance, then we are going to distribute to people who don’t deserve it or who are not actually beneficiaries, and that is robbing what other more deserving beneficiaries should get, so we are going to balance this,” said Chua.
Moving forward, Chua said the distribution of the second tranche of assistance in May should be faster once issues are addressed.
“The important thing here is that we help the people. Let’s not deprive them of the subsidy just because of some bureaucratic or some institutional delays, so I would recommend that DSWD work with DILG,” said Chua./Stacy Ang