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Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles / PNA

Gov't defines role of LGUs in relief distribution

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The national government defined the role of local officials in relief distribution spearheaded by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles issued the statement a day after President Rodrigo Duterte announced that the DSWD is now tasked to lead the distribution of relief to all 18 poor families affected by the crisis brought about by the Covid-19 outbreak in the country.

Nograles said the DSWD should wield “full control and supervision” over the distribution of funds allotted for the Emergency Subsidy Program.

He said all financial assistance provided by the national government would go directly to rightful beneficiaries, Nograles said.

“Ulitin ko lang po ang sinabi ni Presidente kagabi: ang mga tulong na ito ay ibibigay ng DSWD, diretso sa inyo (I will just repeat what the President said last night: the assistance will go directly from the DSWD),” Nograles was quoted as saying. “This will ensure that only targeted beneficiary-families will receive government subsidies."

President Duterte said local government units (LGUs) would no longer spearhead the distribution of relief good and financial assistance, following complaints against some local officials.

Nograles, nevertheless, said LGUs were directed to assist the DSWD in the national government’s relief efforts.

He stressed that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) were also tapped to help the DSWD in the efforts to provide assistance to low-income households.

“Tutulong po ang ating mga LGU, pero ang DSWD ang magmamando sa pagbibigay ng cash assistance na ito (LGUs will help, but DSWD will man the distribution of cash assistance),” Nograles said.

“The role of local government units will be limited to assisting in the distribution of the subsidies, with LGU personnel managed by the DILG with the assistance of the AFP and PNP,” he added.

On March 30, Duterte said around PHP200 billion has been allotted for the Emergency Subsidy Program, which is deemed as the largest and widest social protection program in the country’s history.

Nograles assured the public that the national government would do its best to hasten the distribution of assistance to poor families.

“Gagawin po ng gobyerno ang agarang maipaabot ang tulong na ito (The government will expedite the distribution of assistance),” he said.

Under the Emergency Subsidy Program, the 18-million low-income household beneficiaries would receive either cash or non-cash subsidy in the amount of at least PHP5,000 to a maximum of PHP8,000 per month for April and May period.

The amount of emergency subsidy that will be granted to each poor family depends on the minimum wage levels per region.

A subsidy amounting PHP8,000 will be given to each poor household from Manila, while PHP6,500 worth of assistance will be distributed to each beneficiary from Central Luzon and Calabarzon.

Poor families from Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Northern Mindanao, and Davao Region will get PHP6,000 each, while those from the Cordillera Administrative Region, Ilocos Region, and Cagayan Valley will receive PHP5,500 each.

Each beneficiary from Mimaropa, Bicol Region, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Soccsksargen, Caraga, and Bangsamoro Region in Muslim Mindanao will get PHP5,000 subsidy.

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