The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) issued on Thursday the guidelines for the distribution of financial assistance to residents affected by the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the National Capital Region, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal (NCR Plus).
The ayuda (assistance) is P1,000 per individual, with a maximum of P4,000 per family.
A Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) 1, dated March 31, 2021, was issued to serve as guidelines in the distribution of financial assistance after President Rodrigo Duterte approved the release of P22.9 billion to affected individuals.
“As we pray this Holy Week that this Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic will finally end, we also take care of providing for the basic needs of affected low-income families during this ECQ,” DILG spokesperson, Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said in a news release.
Under the JMC, all local government units (LGUs) are directed to determine through an executive order (EO) the most effective and efficient way of releasing the assistance to their constituents in 15 calendars days upon receipt of the funds if the assistance is in cash or within 30 calendar days if assistance is in kind.
“The LGUs have the discretion to determine if the assistance will be given in cash or in kind provided that the assistance gets to their constituents soonest,” he said.
Under the JMC, priority target beneficiaries of the financial assistance are low-income individuals and those working in informal economies who were beneficiaries of the first tranche of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP); additional beneficiaries in SAP 2; SAP wait-listed beneficiaries; and those belonging to vulnerable groups, such as low-income individuals living alone, persons with disabilities, solo parents, and the like.
The LGUs can also assist other individuals affected by the ECQ provided that funds are still available.
Malaya said the DSWD would provide the LGUs with the complete list of previous SAP beneficiaries, which will serve as their reference in determining the individuals who will be granted financial aid in their respective localities.
Unlike the previous practices wherein the list of SAP beneficiaries was posted afterward, the concerned city/municipal mayors, and punong barangays (village captains) should first post the approved names and village/district of the target beneficiaries before the actual distribution, he said.
The list shall be posted on the LGUs’ official website, social media accounts, and at conspicuous places in the community to foster greater transparency and accountability.