Some of the estimated 62,000 households all over Puerto Princesa City began receiving on Tuesday the P1,500 cash assistance from the city government.

This, after Mayor Lucilo Bayron was granted with the authority to dispense some P472 million calamity fund by the City Council through Resolution No. 0452-2020 issued in a special session held Friday last week, March 20.

Lawyer Arnel Pedrosa, the city administrator, said Tuesday that some barangay captains from the 66 barangays across the city were already lining up at the City Hall waiting for the cash distribution.

“Ang mga ibang kapitan ay nakapila na at start na sila mamigay ngayong araw,” Pedrosa said.

However, only “identified households” will receive the cash assistance excluding the families under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) which were earlier provided with one sack of rice per family, the tenants from other municipalities residing in certain boarding houses, and those extended families residing in the same household.

“‘Yong mga identified household lang na dating nakalista sa City Planning Office (CPO) ang makakatanggap. Hindi kasama ‘yong 4Ps na nauna ng nabigyan pati ‘yong mga nagbo-board lang at extended families,” said councilor Victor Oliveros.

The barangay officials, through the barangay treasurers, were tasked to distribute the P1,500 cash assistance per household in their respective jurisdictions.

The “initial cash assistance” was only pegged for the first two weeks of the “enhanced community quarantine” (ECQ) and additional resources may be pulled should further assistance would be required.

The government assured the city residents that the initial wave of cash assistance may be augmented as other needs are being identified, after nine days of the implementation of the ECQ.

The Council is poised to hold another special session to re-align budget allocation for the immediate assistance being called for by the locals.

“We can reallocate budget from infrastructure and other programs ng city para dito sa COVID-response. Meron ng guidelines from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) but we have to re-align and concurrence from the City Council,” Oliveros added.

The city government has allocated some P840 million for urban development projects in 2020, and some P1.4 billion 2019 supplemental budget to bankroll infrastructure projects.