Ecija town gets over P120M COVID-19 aid from gov’t

SAN ANTONIO, Nueva Ecija – Over P120-million worth of funds have been given as for financial assistance by the national and municipal governments to over 20,000 beneficiaries of this town amid the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mayor Arvin C. Salonga identified the beneficiaries of the cash aid as those listed under the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s Social Amelioration Program (SAP) and 4P’s (Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program) and the Local Government Unit-Special Assistance Fund.

Of the P120-million, P92-million went to the DSWD's SAP for 14,907 beneficiaries at P6,500 each, P16.32-million for 3,200 4Ps members at P6,500 apiece, and P12-million for over 4,000 beneficiaries of the municipal government funded-special assistance program.

"Iyung mga hindi nabigyan ng SAP at 4Ps ng national government na karamihan ay nasa middle-class family ay umiiyak, kaya nag-decide ang LGU na bigyan din sila ng financial aid sa pamamagitan ng LGU-special assistance fund na may halagang P1,000 per family pati na ng 25 kilos of rice," said Salonga.

These financial aids were given on top of the food packs consisting of live chicken, canned goods, vegetable, and rice that were already distributed earlier by the municipal government to over 20,000 families due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the mayor added.

Salonga said the DSWD's SAP-distribution continued until Thursday with only two of the town's 16 barangays remaining to be given -- Bgys. Sto. Cristo and San Francisco.

However, the SAP distribution in Bgy. Sto. Cristo hit a snag on Thursday afternoon. This after the grant of assistance was abruptly stopped because the beneficiaries were allegedly disobeying the social distancing protocols.

It was learned that the barangay captain and his tanods failed to prevent the influx of his constituents, who flocked to the distribution site unmindful of the established anti-COVID-19 safety measures.

"Okay naman sa mga naunang mga barangay na nabigyan ng SAP walang problema, bakit dito lang sa Sto. Cristo ayaw sumunod ang mga tao sa social distancing," said Salonga.