The government will be handing out ‘ayuda’ (aid) to at least 23 million Filipinos affected by the prevailing Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in the NCR Plus bubble.
The Budget Department said that a one-time financial assistance worth PHP1,000 can be given in cash or in kind to those affected by the reimposition of ECQ in Metro Manila and four surrounding provinces, namely Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal.
Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado said the government leaves it to Local Government Units to decide whether they will distribute the aid in cash or relief goods. The aid will be limited to four beneficiaries per family.
This means at least PHP1,000 worth of aid per person, but not more than PHP4,000 per family.
“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.
“Ang atin na lamang, we rely on the goodness of the heart of the Filipino at sana naman maunawaan ng taumbayan na ito ay talagang para sa kanila. ‘Yong mag-iimplement naman ay ‘wag ibubulsa at talagang ibigay do’n sa nararapat,” he added.
The budget for the aid will come from the unused funds of the approved Bayanihan 2.
Meanwhile, Metro Manila Mayor Council Edwin Olivarez said giving cash assistance could be a better choice. “Kapag in-kind ang binigay sa LGUs, mahihirapan po tayo makapila sa DSWD para makadeliver,” he said.
“Kung idadownload ang pera, meron po tayong direct purchase. Mas maganda po kung pera ang bibigay sa LGU,” he further explained.
Duterte on Monday retained the ECQ classification of the NCR, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal until April 4, 2021.