ECQ 'ayuda' now ready for distribution

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 6) - The promised cash aid for eligible Metro Manila residents is now ready for distribution after the Department of Budget and Management released a ₱10.89-billion fund for it on Friday.

National Treasurer Rosalia De Leon confirmed to CNN Philippines that the fund has already been downloaded, and may now be directly released to local government units.

More than 10 million residents in Metro Manila are expected to receive ₱1,000 during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), with a maximum of ₱4,000 per family.

Budget Undersecretary and Officer-in-Charge Tina Canda said in order to speed up the process, the local government support fund will not go through the Department of Social Welfare and Development anymore, and would instead go straight to the LGUs.

"(It) makes the process faster," she pointed out.

Earlier in the day, Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya told CNN Philippines' The Source that local governments would still need time to make the necessary logistical preparations.

"Ito pong sa ayuda, we hope the notice of cash allocation will be issued by the Department of Budget and Management today pero hindi ibig sabihin niyan na immediately today magsisimula ang pagbigay ng ayuda dahil may proseso pong pinagdadaanan iyan. We have to be fair to LGUs," Malaya said.

[Translation: In terms of our cash aid, we hope the notice of cash allocation will be issued by the Department of Budget and Management today but that does not mean the distribution will start today because there is a process that they have to follow. We have to be fair to LGUs.]

"My fearless forecast is by next week, makakapagsimula na po tayong makapagbigay ng ayuda (we will be able to start giving out the cash aid)," he added.

San Juan Mayor Francis Zamora told CNN Philippines the city would get exactly the same amount of ₱98 million that it received during the last ECQ. This can be distributed to residents as early as Saturday.

"The moment we receive this, the next day we can already start disbursing," he said.

The city government of Pasay, for its part, announced it is targeting to distribute the cash aid by Sunday.

Meanwhile, in separate messages, Navotas Mayor Toby Tiangco and Caloocan Mayor Oscar Malapitan said they are ready to distribute the aid anytime. Caloocan will tap service providers like remittance firms and e-wallets for the release.

CNN Philippines' Melissa Lopez and Glee Jalea contributed to this report.