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Manila expresses willingness to assist in DSWD cash aid payout

Honey Lacuna
Mayor Honey Lacuna and MDSW chief Re Fugoso discuss the details of the payout of cash assistance once the national government coordinates for support from the Manila city government. (JERRY S. TAN)

MANILA Mayor Honey Lacuna welcomed the decision to tap the local government units (LGUs) in the distribution of the education assistance of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and expressed the city government’s willingness to be of help.

Anumang programa ay lagi naman welcome dahil napakalaking tulong sa mamamayan. Sana lang po, i-coordinate ninyo sa LGUs para alam namin saan ninyo ginagawa at magpapadala kami ng makakatulong para di magkagulo,” Lacuna said, in reference to all government and non-government entities who may want to extend help the Manilans.

According to Lacuna, the city government of Manila would be more than happy to help for as long as there is proper advisory, specially if the activity will redound to the benefit of the residents.

“Para malaman namin at makatulong kami. Kasi wala kaming abiso kaya di namin kayo matulungan. Hindi sa di namin gusto, di po namin alam,” she said, in reference to a distribution event in the city where people also went in throngs.

Lacuna also assured that the Manila department of social welfare headed by Re Fugoso has already mastered the system of swift and orderly distribution of all forms of assistance.

During the pandemic, Lacuna said the team of Fugoso had been able to establish a scheme that had been proven effective, even during the distribution to the eligible residents of cash aid from the national government.

In such cases, she said the Manila LGU utilizes not only its city personnel but also taps the help of the barangay authorities. It was learned that the MDSW handled the payout of SAP cash assistance in 2020 and then twice again in 2021 without hitches.

Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos, Jr. and DSWD Secretary Erwin Tulfo entered into a memorandum of agreement to ensure the orderly and expeditious provision of Educational Assistance to students-in-crisis as part of its Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) program. The MOA was signed by both officials on Wednesday, August 24, at the DSWD Central Office.

Under the MOA, the DILG pledged to assist the DSWD and the LGUs in providing on-the-ground human resource support to the payout sites, security, health workers and other support manpower, to facilitate a smooth distribution of the education assistance.

The DILG will also provide security assistance, through the Philippine National Police (PNP), at the payout sites to help ensure the safety of the students, their parents, guardians and other beneficiaries.

It will also assist in providing fixed venues for convenient distribution, including multiple distribution centers in heavily populated areas.

The disbursement of cash assistance will be facilitated by the DSWD, Abalos said.

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