MANILA, Apr 10 (Mabuhay) — The Department of the Interior and Local Government is open to extend the 15-day deadline for local government units to distribute cash assistance to affected residents in the National Capital Region (NCR) Plus bubble upon an LGU’s request, and on a case-to-case basis.

Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said that the department understands that some LGUs are experiencing difficulty in meeting the 15-day deadline in cash assistance distribution since they vary in size and population.

“For example Quezon City, almost 30% ng kabuuan ng (of the entire) Metro Manila,” Malaya said.

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte lamented the 15-day deadline, saying how their LGU will maintain social distancing during the distribution when they were being rushed to finish the payout.

Reports said some residents in Metro Manila, including Quezon City, spent long hours in line to claim the cash aid from the national government amid the enhanced community quarantine.

Due to crowding, the people failed to observe social distancing.

With this, Malaya said an LGU can file a request for extension to the DILG and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

“Depende po reasons na ibibigay nila… Kung justifiable ang reason magbibigay naman ng additional time”(It depends on the reasons … If justifiable, then we will give additional time), he said

“Depende po sa sitwasyon. Andaming tao and hindi ganoon karami ang disbursing officer”(It depends on the situation. There are so many people and there are only a few disbursing officers), he added.

The cash assistance program will give P1,000 per individual with a maximum of P4,000 per family.

The government allocated P22.9 billion for the assistance program for the residents of National Capital Region, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal who were affected by the implementation of enhanced community quarantine. (MNS)

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