₱3.4B cash aid distributed to 3.4M beneficiaries in NCR

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 16) — Some 3.4 million Metro Manila residents have received the latest round of lockdown subsidy, an official from the Department of the Interior and Local Government said on Friday.

In a virtual briefing, DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said local government units in the capital region have already disbursed ₱3.4 billion following the reimposition of the enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila and four surrounding provinces to contain the COVID-19 spike.

"Sa NCR, nasa 31% na tayo, 3.4 million beneficiaries ang nabigyan ng ayuda," Malaya said.

[Translation: In NCR, we are now at 31%, 3.4 million beneficiaries have been given assistance.]

Secretary Rolando Bautista of the Department of Social Welfare and Development earlier admitted that the subsidy rollout, which began on April 6, was "slow." He said only 8% of the allocated budget had been disbursed to ECQ-hit households as of April 11.

Malaya, however, stressed during a briefing on Thursday that the distribution of cash assistance has been expedited.

"Wala pong tigil ang mga local government units sa pamumudmod ng ayuda from the national government," he assured.

[Translation: Local government units have been working nonstop to provide the assistance from the national government.]

Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal were under the strictest quarantine status from March 29 to April 11, forcing many businesses to suspend operations or limit their capacity.

The government said almost 23 million beneficiaries from low-income households in the five areas would benefit from the new round of social amelioration program under Bayanihan 2.

Each qualified resident may receive cash or in-kind assistance of ₱1,000 each or up to a maximum ₱4,000 per family. The amount was lower than the ₱5,000 to ₱8,000 worth of subsidy provided under Bayanihan 1 in 2020.