ABOUT 81% or P9.1 billion out of the P11.2-billion financial assistance for Metro Manila residents affected by the recent two-week strict lockdown has already been released as of Aug. 24, the Presidential Palace said on Thursday.  

This means more than nine million beneficiaries have received cash assistance, Palace Spokesman Herminio L. Roque, Jr. told a televised news briefing.   

He added that the national government has extended the deadline for the distribution of cash aid, which is being handled by local governments.  

Mr. Roque cited that Caloocan City was able to finish the distribution before the original Aug. 24 deadline.  

The Department of Budget and Management initially released P10.89 billion for Metro Manila residents.   

An additional P368 million was given to Metro Manila after President Rodrigo Duterte approved on Aug. 12 the allocation of P3.78 billion for cash aid to residents in the surrounding provinces of Laguna and Bataan. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza