Manila barangay officials return extra P2.4M in virus crisis fund
MANILA, Philippines – Barangay officials in Manila have returned a collective amount of some P2.4 million in excess of the emergency funds provided by city hall to help residents cope with the economic losses brought about by the island-wide lockdown declared by the national government.
On Friday, April 10, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno posted on Facebook a list of 22 barangay chairmen who gave back funds released to them under Manila’s City Amelioration Crisis Assistance Fund (CACAF). They were as follows:
Barangay officials have been on the front lines of delivering assistance to residents hard hit by the shuttering of business due to the outbreak.
But while local officials in Manila see the distribution of aid to affected residents, other areas in and outside the National Capital Region have not received the badly needed funds that's supposed to come from the national government through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
Manila, in the meantime, tapped into its own funds to deliver quick aid to residents in need. The Manila city government said it distributed over P576 million, sourced from the CACAF, to the city’s 896 barangays.
The CACAF is separate from the assitance that is supposed to come from the national government.
Under the CACAF, P1,000 is distributed to over 500,000 families in the capital city.
Barangay officials across the country have had to face the difficulty of helping residents tide over, facing threats from frustrated constituents while help from the national government has yet to reach their communities. (READ: Duterte chaos leaves barangay officials ‘helpless’ amid lockdown)
Under the Bayanihan Law, which Congress passed in March to give the President special powers to respond to the health crisis, an initial P200 billion has been allocated to give 18 million disadvantaged families P5,000 to P8,000 each.
Logistical gaps and unclear guidelines, however, have hampered the distribution of aid, with DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista passing the blame on local government units for not having ready lists of beneficiaries. Earlier, however, Metro Manila mayors already provided the agency with their lists of beneficiaries, but the DSWD pared down those lists. – Rappler.com