April 05, 2021
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 2)— The ₱22.9 billion emergency subsidy budget for those affected by the enhanced community quarantine in the NCR Plus bubble will be downloaded to concerned local governments on Monday, according to the Finance Department.
The subsidy will benefit residents within the greater Manila area — Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal — which were placed under the strictest form of lockdown until Sunday due to the spike in COVID-19 cases.
"The quick release was made possible only because [Budget] Sec. Wendell Avisado signed the SARO and NCA last Tuesday morning (March 29) & because the DOF & Bureau of Treasury had prepared funds in anticipation of this eventuality," Finance Secretary Sonny Dominguez told CNN Philippines in a text message on Friday.
But Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte said the Metro Manila Council met with the Budget Department last Tuesday where it was promised that the budget will be downloaded to them by Wednesday.
The Social Welfare Department also announced on Wednesday it will be providing a list of individuals to LGUs to serve as their guide in distributing the aid.
So far, the local governments of Taguig, Marikina, San Juan, and Makati have confirmed they have yet to receive the list of beneficiaries.
While waiting for the budget, Belmonte said the DSWD has given the guidelines as to who will be prioritized in the national government's dole-out program.
“As per guidelines, primary list will be the DSWD SAP [Social Amelioration Program] list and the DSWD waitlisted list, then other vulnerable groups like 4Ps [Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program], etc,” Belmonte said in a text message.
Taguig City Mayor Lino Cayetano meanwhile said he intends to start the distribution of the financial relief by the end of next week.
Aside from the expected financial aid from the national government, Cayetano added they already started distributing relief goods to some 300,000 families in Taguig.
"We are familiar with the list of DSWD because LGU din naman ang nag ve-verify nito (it is the LGU that verifies this) and we handled SAP distribution nung (during the) 1st wave — we are aligning it next week so we can hit the target of 80% of citizens set by the President. So, this will be dependent of amount of downloaded vs qualified recipients," Cayetano said.
Based on the Budget Department’s memorandum, each beneficiary may receive ₱1,000-₱4,000 in cash or in kind.
So far, Cayetano, Belmonte, and Marikina City Mayor Marcelino Teodoro said they will be distributing the aid in cash once the list and the budget are already available.