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Pateros News

Pateros suffers delay in cash distribution 

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Pateros started on Tuesday the payout of the national government’s financial assistance to residents affected by the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) but warned that it will be slow due to lack of manpower, according to a report by Manila Bulletin. 

Pateros Mayor Miguel Ponce III yesterday said the distribution of the P52.35 million financial assistance would start in only one barangay, Martirez, due to lack of manpower as many municipal government employees tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and changes in the manner of distribution. 

He said the municipal government’s treasury and accounting offices are currently under lockdown due to confirmed COVID-19 cases while other employees who have been exposed to the positive cases are under quarantine and will undergo swab tests.

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Because of this, the mayor asked barangay treasurers and secretaries to handle the distribution of the financial assistance, which targets to give P1,000 per individual or a maximum of P4,000 per family. Only one team was formed to give the financial assistance to residents and Ponce said they are seeking help from Sangguniang Kabataan chairmen and treasurers to form another team. Each team is composed of 30 to 35 people including 10 payout masters, 10 assistants, and support personnel. 

The municipal government originally planned to distribute the payout using the Universal Storefront Services Corp. (USSC) system where residents can go to any of its branches to claim the money. 

However, some residents complained about the service fees ranging from P20 to P50 that will be imposed through the USSC payout system. 

According to Ponce, due to the complaints about the service fees, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) advised him that the municipal government should shoulder the charges.

“Hindi po kaya ng pamahalaang bayan natin iyan (The municipal government is unable to shoulder it),” said the mayor, adding that the change to the manual system will delay the distribution of the financial assistance because of lack of manpower. 

House to house distribution, he said, is also not an option due to lack of employees. Ponce said last year, the municipal government initially tried to distribute the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) subsidy through the house-to-house system but many employees got sick. 

Other employees, meanwhile, experienced getting cursed by residents who were not on the list and failed to get the SAP money. 

As of April 11, Pateros recorded 3,187 confirmed COVID-19 cases including 2,390 recoveries and 44 deaths, leaving 753 active cases.

 


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