DSWD: 17% of target ECQ aid recipients given assistance as of April 14
MANILA, Philippines — Only 17 percent of the 22.9 million target beneficiaries of the P1,000 aid for people in areas under an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) have received the assistance, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said.
According to DSWD, reports from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) showed that 3.999 million beneficiaries have already received the P1,000 per head assistance — a huge bulk of which are Metro Manila residents with 2.944 million.
The assistance was initiated by the government as the law requires areas under ECQ — the most stringent lockdown measure available — to compensate affected residents. An ECQ bubble that consists of Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal was created to curb the current COVID-19 surge, and to prevent cases from spilling over to other areas.
Here is the breakdown released by DSWD:
- Central Luzon: 2,967,039 beneficiaries, 149,373 paid (P149.3 million released)
- Calabarzon: 8,775,395 beneficiaries, 905,665 paid (P905.6 million released)
- National Capital Region: 11,172,988 beneficiaries, 2,944,201 paid (P2.944 billion released)
This indicates that for Metro Manila, 26 percent of the beneficiaries have obtained their ECQ aid; only five percent for Central Luzon; and 10 percent for Calabarzon.
It is important to note though that ECQ aid recipients are lower in Region III or Central Luzon because only the province of Bulacan is included in the ECQ bubble. On the other hand, three provinces from Calabarzon are inside the bubble — Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal.
The ECQ aid was meant to help residents in the bubble whose work were either affected or disrupted by the strict protocols. According to the Department of Budget and Management, around 22.9 million beneficiaries would receive financial or in kind assistance worth P1,000.
Eligible members would receive P1,000 each, but the limit would be set at P4,000 per household.
The bubble was under an ECQ for two weeks, starting from late March to April 10. The areas then shifted to a modified ECQ (MECQ) despite COVID-19 cases still increasing, in an effort to reopen and revive the economy.
As of Thursday, the country now has 183,527 active COVID-19 cases, after 11,429 new infections were confirmed by the Department of Health. The death toll meanwhile is at 15,594.
Previously, activist group Bayan Muna conducted a challenge to show that the P1,000 aid would not suffice for a family of four, as it would only be good for three to four days, amid a two-week ECQ.
In response, the party-list said that President Rodrigo Duterte must use his administration’s intelligence funds, as well as funds obtained from international grants and loans, to provide a P10,000 grant and not just P1,000.
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