DILG: Those who received cash aid twice need to return money to government
MANILA, Philippines – Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año on Tuesday, May 19, said citizens who got cash aid from the government twice during the coronavirus crisis would have to return the money.
At the Senate hearing on the coronavirus response, Senator Lito Lapid asked Cabinet secretaries whether the government had the money to provide cash aid in case a second wave of infections happened in the country.
Año said the government was just waiting for the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to liquidate the first tranche so they could roll out the second tranche of the cash aid, "giving priority to the 5 million families who were left out" during the first rollout.
After raising the issue that some were not able to receive financial subsidy, Lapid asked: "Ngayon, nanghihingi na naman ng budget. Paano iyon, kung halimbawa mabigyan na naman uli, eh magkakadoble-doble ba 'yan? O ibibigay ba doble sa barangay?"
(Now, the government is asking again for a budget. What would the arrangement be, say, for example, a budget is granted, then people would have to receive cash aid twice? Or will the barangay get twice the amount?)
Responding to Lapid, Año explained that some of those who didn't receive cash aid might be among the 5 million families who were initially excluded from the program but would now receive it under the next tranche of subsidy.
Then he added: "Sa question ng nagdodoble, meron kautusan ang ating Pangulo na, una, i-post ang mga pangalan ng nakatanggap. At gusto ng ating Pangulo na alamin sino ang nakatanggap ng doble at hindi binalik. I-po-post natin 'yan dahil kailangan ibalik nila 'yan."
(On the question of those who received aid twice, the President has an order that, first, we will post their names. Our President wants to know who received twice and did not return it. We will post their names because they need to return it.)
Año said they would know who received the extra cash aid with the help of DSWD.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) exercises supervision over local goverments, whose only role in the coronavirus cash aid program was to assist the DSWD in the distribution of the aid. The decision on who would be on the list of beneficiaries, how much assistance, and when the funds would be released were made by the national government.
Under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, 18 million Filipino families should receive cash aid ranging from P5,000 to P8,000 for two months, depending on the regional minimum wage.
Apart from the program under the Bayanihan Act, other agencies also rolled out their own financial subsidy programs for workers, public utility vehicle drivers, and the agricultural sector. (READ: LIST: Government assistance for workers, businesses affected by lockdown)
The DILG earlier said that Filipinos should not receive cash aid from two departments at once. – Rappler.com