Sunday, December 3, 2023

1 million families in ECQ areas to get cash aid

The government has set the distribution of cash aid to more than one million families in Iloilo Province, Iloilo City, Cagayan de Oro City, and Gingoog City in Misamis Oriental affected by the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

This, as the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) issued the guidelines for the cash distribution, which was set at P4,000 per family.

Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) No. 2 series of 2021 provides the guidelines for the distribution of financial assistance to the affected residents and families in the ECQ areas identified under IATF Resolution No. 127-E dated July 15, 2021, through the DSWD’s Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) fund.

The joint directive was signed by DILG Secretary Eduardo Año, DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista, and Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.

“President Duterte and the government want to provide for the needs of our countrymen affected by ECQ in Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro City, and Gingoog City,” Año said in a media release Saturday.

Under the JMC, the financial assistance shall be released by the DSWD to cities and municipalities that are placed under ECQ to provide emergency relief assistance to affected families. Each of the beneficiary families shall receive P1,000 for each member, with a maximum amount of P4,000 per family.

“The financial assistance must be used exclusively by the concerned LGUs for the provision of such assistance and must in no way be used for any unauthorized program, project, or activity,” the DILG Secretary said.

The guidelines also state that the concerned LGUs shall release the assistance in cash to their constituents within 15 days from receipt of transferred funds.

“We leave it to the LGUs, however, to identify the type, manner, and process of distribution of the assistance which shall be stipulated in the memorandum of agreement that they will forge with DSWD in accordance with DSWD’s Special AICS guidelines,” Año said.

“LGUs are also required to submit a complete liquidation report within 60 days from the last day of distribution of the financial assistance and to refund unused/unclaimed funds,” he added.

Año also directed LGUs to closely coordinate with the DSWD, DILG field offices, Philippine National Police (PNP), and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) or other government agencies on the necessary support that they need to ensure the smooth and efficient distribution of the cash aid.

The JMC states that the DSWD shall provide technical assistance and assist the LGUs in the distribution of financial assistance while the DILG shall monitor the management and distribution.

Meanwhile, the PNP shall provide security assistance to the LGU personnel in charge of the distribution, sustain peace, and maintain public order during the actual distribution. The AFP shall provide security support to the PNP in areas where augmentation is required by local authorities especially in conflict-affected areas or geographically isolated areas upon receipt of a written request from local authorities.

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