Four months after, P1-K ‘ayuda’ not enough for 2-week ECQ — Bayan Muna | Inquirer News
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Four months after, P1-K ‘ayuda’ not enough for 2-week ECQ — Bayan Muna

/ 07:07 PM August 09, 2021
Four months after, P1-K ‘ayuda’ not enough for 2-week ECQ — Bayan Muna

(Photo by Willie Lomibao)

MANILA, Philippines — When the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) was placed over the National Capital Region (NCR) and its nearby provinces, party-list group Bayan Muna held a challenge to show why the P1,000 per head aid was not enough.

Four months after and with a new ECQ imposed over Metro Manila following the COVID-19 surge, Bayan Muna members again went to the market to demonstrate that a similar cash aid would not suffice for a family of four — even with the P4,000 cap for every household.

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On Monday, party Rep. Carlos Zarate said that the same team went to the Commonwealth Market to buy groceries and found that prices had even gone up slightly.

“Members of Bayan Muna again conducted a P1,000 ayuda challenge in Commonwealth market to test if what can be bought with the amount and for how long it will last,” Zarate said in a statement.

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“There was a slight increase in prices compared to last April’s challenge but even during that time; the P1,000 was not enough for the basic needs (of) 1 person to last for two weeks. The same can be said for the supposed P4,000 for a family of four,” he added.

Zarate provided a breakdown of the items that Bayan Muna member Thata Alindogan managed to purchase from her grocery run:

five kilograms rice grains (P200.00)
one dozen eggs (P88.00)
one liter cooking oil (P63.00)
25 grams coffee (P25.00)
1/2 kilogram sugar (P23.00)
one kilogram chicken (P144.00)
1/2 kilogram fish (P100.00)
sayote (P30.00)
garlic and onion (P58.00)
tomatoes (P27.00)
mangoes (P59.00)
1/4 kilogram of pork (P130.00)
monggo beans (P30.00)
bagoong (P30.00)
jeepney fare (P20.00)
tricycle fare (P30.00)

All in all, Zarate said that Alindogan spent P1,057 – indicating that even with four family members eligible for social aid, it would not suffice.

In April 2021, Zarate noted that the P1,000 cash aid may feed a family of four for only four days – in the case that only one household member becomes eligible for assistance.

The same cash aid system would be implemented for the ECQ over Metro Manila, Laguna, and Bataan: each individual whose jobs were affected would get a one-time P1,000 cash grant, with a maximum cap of P4,000 per family.

READ: P1K cash aid not enough for 2-week ECQ — Bayan Muna 

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Opposition members and groups have criticized the administration’s allegedly paltry response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with Zarate and fellow Bayan Muna Rep. Ferdinand Gaite questioning the government’s reliance on lockdowns to curb outbreaks.

According to the two lawmakers, the government should instead strengthen its response and ensure that lockdowns are unnecessary.

READ: ECQ again? Bayan Muna says gov’t must focus on ‘enhanced’ COVID-19 response instead 

But since lockdowns have been deemed necessary already due to the threat of the COVID-19 Delta variant — said to be more transmissible than the already more contagious Alpha variant — Zarate said that the answer is to pass the Bayanihan to Arise as One bill or Bayanihan 3.

The Bayanihan 3 is expected to pump funds into the government and provide Filipinos with a stimulus pack worth P10,000.

However, despite requests from lawmakers, Malacañang has not certified Bayanihan 3 as urgent.

“As it is, what still needs to be done is for Malacanang to push for the immediate passing of Bayanihan 3, conduct mass testing and fast track the vaccination drive,” Zarate said.

“Di uubra na palagi na lang lockdown at binabarat pa ang ayuda sa mamamayan,” he added.

(Relying on lockdowns and shortchanging the cash aid for the people would not work.)

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TAGS: 000 challenge, 2019 Novel Coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, ayuda, Bayan Muna, Cash aid, Commonwealth Market, COVID-19, COVID-19 pandemic, ECQ, enhanced community quarantine, lockdown, nCoV update, P1, Philippine news updates, Rep. Carlos Zarate
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