Local gov’ts blamed for cash aid delays

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THE Social Welfare department blamed strict validation procedures by local governments for delays in the distribution of government cash aid to low-income households affected by the lockdown amid a coronavirus pandemic.

Some beneficiaries also live in remote areas where there are security threats, making it difficult to reach them, Social Welfare Undersecretary Danilo Pamonag told the House good government committee.

He added that 1,324 social welfare staff had to be self-quarantined and 19 later tested positive for the coronavirus after being exposed.

About 17.6 million families have received emergency subsidies worth P99.6 billion, Mr. Pamonag said. He added that 1,560 local governments out of 1,624 have completed their payouts.

Mr. Pamonag said about five million families who did not receive cash aid for the first tranche would be accommodated for the second tranche of the program. This will bring the number of beneficiaries to 23 million families, he added. — Genshen L. Espedido