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P6B for CV: Cebu officials ask DSWD for clearer guidelines on cash aid distribution

By: Morexette Marie Erram - Reporter/CDN Digital | April 04,2020 - 10:58 AM
While most of the residents of Cebu City stay indoors, the homeless have nowhere to go. As of now, the city does not yet have guidelines on how to deal with the homeless during the enhanced community quarantine. | Delta Letigio

While most of the Cebu City residents stay indoors, the homeless have nowhere else to go. | CDND File Photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Cebu officials have asked the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to provide them with clearer guidelines on the distribution of cash assistance under the national government’s social amelioration program for those who were badly affected by the economic impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

In a meeting held on Friday, April 3, 2020, local officials led by Cebu Government Gwen asked Central Visayas officials of the DSWD and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE – 7) to shed light on the release of the national subsidy.

Garcia, at one point in the meeting, asked DSWD – 7 to provide local governments the consolidated list of qualified beneficiaries.

DSWD – 7 representatives assured Cebu officials of the allocation of P6 billion for Central Visayas distribution.

However, they said that the amount is yet to be downloaded to local government units (LGU) here.

Mayors’ Request

Mayors Kristine Vanessa Chiong (Naga City), Gerald Anthony Gullas (Talisay City), Mercy Apura (Carcar City), and Christina Frasco (Liloan), who attended the meeting that Garcia called, asked DSWD-7 to issue a public statement on the status of the cash assistance.

Frasco, who is also the chairperson of the League of Municipalities – Cebu Chapter, represented the town mayors in Cebu during the meeting.

The four mayors who attended the meeting at Capitol shared the sentiment that delays and vague protocols in the fund release could lead to speculations that the allocation has already been diverted for other purposes.

“We would like the public to know that we haven’t received any money yet. But right now, we are caught in a position where it’s difficult to explain, leading the public to the speculate politicking or worse – diverting the money for personal use,” said Gullas in Cebuano.

The government’s social amelioration program authorizes the release of in-kind and cash assistance ranging from P5,000 to P8,000 to households with underprivileged individuals and those with family members who lost their employment as a result of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) implementation.

Beneficiaries include senior citizens, persons with disabilities, pregnant women, and beneficiaries of the government’s 4Ps.

DSWD – 7 promised to heed to the mayors’ request for the release of clearer guidelines on the fund release.  They also planned to disseminate public information on the program implementation. / dcb

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