Local officials who divide coronavirus cash aid to face charges – DILG

Pia Ranada
Local officials who divide coronavirus cash aid to face charges – DILG

Rappler.com

Some 61% of the country's most vulnerable families have received emergency subsidies, says DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya

MANILA, Philippines – Local government executives who divide cash aid intended for one family in order to distribute the aid to more families will face charges, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) warned on Saturday, May 2.

The DILG gave the warning as it received several reports of barangay captains cutting up cash subsidies under the government’s emergency subsidy program in order to distribute smaller amounts of cash to more families.

‘Yan po ay ipinagbabawal sa batas at puwede silang masuspindi at makulong pa kung ginawa nila (That is not allowed under the law and they can be suspended or even jailed if they are indeed doing that),” DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya  said at the Laging Handa virtual press briefing on Saturday, May 2.

Malaya called on citizens to report government officials who engage in the illegal practice. Reports can be coursed through DILG desks in municipal, provincial, and regional offices.

Malaya said cutting up the cash subsidy is “not the right solution.”

To make up for gaps in the subsidy distribution, the national government has said that another 5 million families will receive emergency aid.

This is apart from the 18 million most vulnerable families who are supposed to receive P5,000 to P8,000 to cover two months of quarantine. 

Malaya gave assurances that the subsidy distribution has sped up. Some 61% of the 18 million families – or roughly 11 million – have received subsidies as of Friday, May 1, he said.

“It looks like the distribution is doing much better. It might reach 70% tomorrow,” the DILG official said. – Rappler.com

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Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.