The money was forcibly taken on early Wednesday morning from personnel of Smart-NATCO (National Confederation Cooperative), the conduit of the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) in the island-municipality where there is no bank ATM, according to Department of Social Welfare and Development Bicol Regional Director Arnel C. Garcia.
He identified the Smart-NATCO employees as Allan B. Competente and Richielda A. Batang.
Garcia said they are closely coordinating with authorities, LBP officials and other concerned individuals for the success of the investigation.
The incident happened in the residence of barangay kagawad Eddie Bibat at Purok, Barangay Villahermosa, Rapu-Rapu.
The DSWD official said what happened was indeed sad but at least no one died or was hurt.
Garcia assured the 4Ps beneficiaries that they will receive their cash assistance but it would take time.
He said the LBP will do something to replace the amount taken by the criminals.
The amount was for the first quarter of 2016 and intended for about 5,000 families in the area that are enrolled in the program.
Garcia said the conduit organization has an insurance coverage for such eventuality. (Nancy Ibo Mediavillo, PNA)