Instead of relief goods, the town of San Dionisio in Iloilo province distributes a financial aid of PHP500 to its locals to keep its economy alive.
A total of 11,199 families in the municipality began receiving the cash aid from the local government unit (LGU), San Dionisio Mayor Larry Villanueva said.
“The advantage of giving cash to families is to keep our local economy alive. Our small businesses will thrive and we will not find it hard to economically recover soon,” Villanueva said.
Three public markets in town continue to operate and the 29 villages were clustered into two.
They follow a schedule set by the LGU to access their needs from the market.
The PHP500 cash assistance will help the families get through the week as the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), which grants qualified households a PHP6,000 aid, is expected next week.
Villanueva said giving out cash gives the locals the freedom to buy what they need in the household.
For instance, milk, diapers, and vitamins of those who have children cannot be covered by the usual food packs distributed by other LGUs.
Villanueva also acknowledged that the villages distributed rice, sardines, and noodles last week.
Some families also have stocked canned goods for the enhanced community quarantine.
“If you have to estimate, rice now costs PHP60 per kg. An average family can allot PHP300 for their rice and the remaining PHP200 is their allowance on what other needs they have to purchase,” he said.
The LGU has allotted PHP5.7 million for the distribution of PHP500 to every family.
The fund came from the PHP4.7-million local disaster risk reduction and management fund of San Dionisio and the PHP1-million financial aid from Iloilo’s provincial government.
Starting April 13, San Dionisio will continue providing cash assistance to families not covered by the DSWD’s SAP.
“By next week when the SAP of the DSWD is already released, the remaining 1,300 families that are not covered will still receive cash aid from the local government unit. Maybe it is not as much as the PHP6,000 of the DSWD, but at around PHP1,500 each family,” Villanueva said.
San Dionisio has two remaining persons under monitoring (PUM) and zero patient under investigation (PUI). They came from Iloilo City and were requested by the LGU to observe home quarantine.
All the town’s 223 listed PUMs when the enhanced community quarantine started last March 20 have finished their 14-day quarantine. (PNA)