Almost 20,000 residents flock Laguna gym only to receive P412 cash aid

    MANILA, Philippines – A cash aid distribution held last May 25 at a gym in Los Baños, Laguna resembled a jampacked concert as almost 20,000 residents flocked only to get P412 cash aid.

    Residents blamed the local government unit (LGU) of Los Baños for the lack of organization during the cash aid distribution which started from 9 am on May 25 and ended at 4 am the following day. Despite the ongoing threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, residents failed to practice social distancing and follow health protocols in the venue.

    PHOTO CREDIT: Facebook/Jobelle Pujeda Madriaga

    “LOS BAÑOS!!! Paki ayos naman ho ang inyong sistema, sinamahan ko ang Papa ko para makakuha ng ayuda, pero ito ang aming aabutan... Senior Citizen na po ang Papa ko tapos pasasabakin niyo sa napakaraming tao at ganitong pila?” netizen Jobelle Pujeda Madriaga wrote on a Facebook post.

    According to officials of Los Baños LGU, residents who were not scheduled to get the cash aid also arrived during the distribution. As a result, organizers had difficulty controlling the crowd and implementing social distancing.

    LOS BAÑOS!!! Paki ayos naman ho ang inyong sistema, sinamahan ko ang Papa ko para makakuha ng ayuda, pero ito ang aming...

    Posted by Jobelle Pujeda Madriaga on Tuesday, May 25, 2021

    “Ang nangyayari kasi dyan yung mga hindi pa naka-schedule pumupunta na. Kaya naiipon. May mga scheduling eh. Yung mga iba excited. Kaya dumami ng dumami. Nagkumpulan. Dun kami nahirapan,” Los Baños Mayor Antonio Kalaw explained.

    Meanwhile, several recipients of the cash aid revealed that they only received P412 instead of the P1,000 cash aid as promised by the government.

    “1000 dapat ang makukuha kada isang tao at sa beneficiaries pero ang sabi ng mga nauna 412 pesos na lang daw ang ibinibigay kada tao!” Madriaga also wrote on his post.

    Officials of the Los Baños LGU explained that the money distributed was taken from the P7 million extra budget from the three previous batches of cash aid. Moreover, the amount received by the residents was smaller than expected since 17,000 residents registered for the cash aid distribution.

    The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) reiterated that events like cash aid distribution should be organized and systematic especially during pandemic.

    “Lahat ng mga ganito kasi whether community pantry, gift-giving or kung ano mang tawag naten since we are in a pandemic kailangan systematic and organized,” DILG Usec. Jonathan Malaya said.

    — Mini, The Summit Express

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