No aid, no ECQ: Palace unsure if gov’t has funds for Metro Manila ECQ
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Thursday said it is not sure if the government has funds for assistance should Metro Manila be placed under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) anew.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases will discuss on Thursday the request of the mayors of Metro Manila to place the capital region under ECQ, but stressed that the decision would be contingent on the availability of financial assistance for the affected residents.
“If there will be a decision to declare ECQ, pursuant to the request of the mayors, it will be contingent on yung ayuda na pupuwedeng ibigay. Yun po ang ating sitwasyon,” Roque said in a press briefing.
(If there will be a decision to declare ECQ, pursuant to the request of the mayors, it will be contingent on the aid that we can give. That’s our situation.)
“Ang issue po, meron ba ho talaga tayong maibibigay na ayuda? Dahil alam naman natin na pag tayo ay naglockdown sa Metro Manila, complete closure of the economy, maraming mawawalan ng trabaho at ang katotohanan po, hindi ko po alam kung meron tayong pang-ayuda para sa another malakawan na lockdown,” he added.
(But the issue is, do we have funds to give as assistance? We know that when we place Metro Manila on lockdown, there is a complete closure of the economy, many will lose their jobs and to be honest, I’m not sure if we have funds for assistance when we impose a widespread lockdown.)
Previously, Roque said President Rodrigo Duterte will not allow the imposition of ECQ in any area if the government will not be able to provide aid.
In Iloilo province, Cagayan de Oro City, and Gingoog City in Misamis Oriental which are under ECQ until August 7, the government will distribute P1,000 aid to affected residents, with a limit of P4,000 per family.
Meanwhile, Metro Manila, Rizal, Bulacan, Laguna, and Cavite or the so-called NCR Plus remain under general community quarantine “with heightened restrictions” until August 15.
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