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INTERIOR and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año boasted of being close to completing the distribution of this year’s financial assistance to the affected families living in areas collectively referred to as NCR Plus.

According to Año, local government units (LGUs) have already released 92.45 percent of the P22.9 billion fund intended for the residents of Metro Manila, Rizal, Laguna, Cavite and Bulacan.

Sa kabuuan na P22.9 billion na ipinamahagi natin, naibigay na po ang P21.18 billion… Total po ay 92.45 percent ang ating accomplishment,” Año said in a taped public briefing aired Tuesday morning.

Of the 100 LGUs, 44 have already finished the distribution of the cash aid including the cities and municipalities of Manila, Caloocan, Pasay, Cabuyao, Biñan, San Pedro, and Sta. Rosa, Año said.

In Metro Manila, 91.75 percent of the 11.172 million qualified individuals have already received the cash aid.

Interestingly, Cavite logged in as the slowest with a 85.825 percent completion rate. Bulacan is 96.89 percent complete, while Laguna recorded 96.89 percent complete. Rizal, for its part logged in at 94.54 percent.

The radical spike in the daily tallies of fresh infections compelled the national government to re-impose the most stringent lockdown level for NCR Plus. Relatedly, it is also for the same reason that Malacañang opted to extend financial help to the affected families in these areas.

The restrictions have since been downgraded to a less stringent community quarantine level.

The government allocated P22.9 billion for a cash assistance program for the affected residents. They will receive an assistance of P1,000 per individual with a maximum of P4,000 per family.

Amid government-imposed restrictions, LGUs have had a hard time in the distribution of the cash aid, prompting the DILG to extend the deadline for the distribution of cash aid in NCR Plus until May 15.

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