The government has so far distributed P7.5 billion of the P23-billion financial assistance for qualified recipients affected by the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) imposed in the National Capital Region (NCR) Plus area from March 29 to April 11.
According to the report released by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Monday, a total of 7.470 million beneficiaries in Metro Manila and its neighboring provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal have already received the ECQ aid as of April 18.
Some 4.671 million of the more than 11.1 million beneficiaries listed in Metro Manila have so far received assistance worth P1,000 per person or a maximum of P4,000 per family.
In Bulacan, the DSWD and local government units (LGUs) have already distributed assistance to 658,177 of the 2.967 million target beneficiaries.
On the other hand, 2.141 million of the listed 8.775 million recipients in Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal have also received their cash aid from the government.
DILG Spokesperson and Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya earlier assured that cash subsidy distribution for 22.9 million qualified recipients will continue despite the shift of the NCR Plus to the more relaxed modified ECQ (MECQ).
“Though more people are now back to work, the ‘ayuda‘ (assistance) is a commitment of government and will continue to be distributed despite the change in quarantine classification,” Malaya said.
In a Palace briefing on Monday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque acknowledged the slow distribution of cash aid to families in the NCR Plus areas and vowed to do better.
He apologized for the slow distribution, noting that the government was just being careful not to spread Covid-19 in communities.
Roque also pointed out that the government opted not to distribute the cash aid electronically to avoid service fee deductions in the already meager cash assistance.