ECQ ‘ayuda’: P1,000 aid may be in cash or in – kind, says DBM
MANILA, Philippines — Local government units (LGUs) will be authorized to decide if P1,000 aid from the national government for qualified individuals in enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) areas will be given in cash or in kind, Department of Budget Management (DBM) Secretary Wendel Avisado said Tuesday.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier approved the DBM’s proposal to distribute P1,000 worth of in-kind aid per person or not more than P4,000 per each family affected by ECQ imposed in Metro Manila and four nearby provinces.
“It really would depend now on the local government unit kung ika-cash nila para mas madali o kung bibili ba sila ng mga pagkain at ire-repack nila, kailan naman nila matatapos yan at yung sistema ng pagdi-distribute pa?” Avisado said in an interview on Teleradyo.
(It really would depend now on the local government unit if they would give the aid in cash so it would be easier or they would distribute food that they would need to repack, but how long will that take, not to mention the system of distributing those food packs?)
Avisado cautioned LGUs not to pocket the aid meant for ECQ-affected households. He also called on those who will receive the assistance to spend it on essential goods.
“We rely on the goodness of the heart of the Filipino,” he added.
Some 22.9 million beneficiaries from the so called NCR Plus bubble, covering Metro Manila, Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite and Laguna are expected to receive aid from the government due to the imposition of ECQ from March 29 to April 4.
At least P23 billion from the Bayanihan 2, the country’s second stimulus package, is available to fund the latest round of financial assistance.
Avisado, meanwhile, said the DBM is preparing for any possible extension of the ECQ but said they would need the help of Congress to source more funds for another round of assistance.
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