President Rodrigo Duterte has greenlit the distribution of monetary aid to people affected by the reinstitution of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) bubble in Greater Manila, which consists of Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal.
The move was proposed by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), who has set aside Php23 billion in funding for the scheme. In their program, those affected by the ECQ bubble will be entitled to a one-time Php1,000 aid.
In an interview with ABS-CBN’s TeleRadyo, Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado said the local government units (LGUs) will be handling the distribution of the aid, which can either be in the form of cash or goods.
“Kung sa pagpupulong ng mga lokal na pamahalaan, eh mas madali sa kanila ‘yong cash, maaaring gawin nilang cash. Kung hindi naman, bibili sila ng in kind,” Avisado said.
He also urged those tasked with the distribution of the assistance to not ‘pocket’ or ‘steal.’
“Ang atin na lamang, we rely on the goodness of the heart of the Filipino at sana naman maunawaan ng taongbayan na ito ay talagang para sa kanila. ‘Yong mag-iimplement naman ay ‘wag ibubulsa at talagang ibigay do’n sa nararapat,” he remarked.
Avisado notes that 23 million people in Greater Manila or ‘NCR Plus’ will receive support. He mentions that a household could receive up to Php 4,000 in aid as the monetary support is given on a per-person basis. However, he shares that it will not be more than that.
Avisado states that the subsidy comes from left-over funds from the Philippine Government’s second Bayanihan program.
On Monday, President Rodrigo Duterte announced ‘quarantine classifications’ for different parts of the country. For the ‘NCR Plus’ region, Duterte decided to extend the ECQ period until April 4.
The current intensification of quarantine measures comes after a significant surge in new COVID-19 infections. The increase in cases coincided with the start of the government’s COVID-19 vaccination program, which has seen 656,331 frontline medical workers vaccinated with the first dose.
As of March 29, the total number of infections in the country has reached 731,894. Of this, 115,495 COVID-19 cases remain active.
You can watch the clip of the interview with Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado below.
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