A total of P13.1 billion worth of cash assistance that will be distributed to around 10.7 million Metro Manila residents will be sourced from the savings of all government agencies, Malacañang said on Tuesday.
This, after President Rodrigo Duterte approved Monday the granting of financial aid to individuals affected by the implementation of the most restrictive enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila or the National Capital Region (NCR).
In a virtual presser, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said qualified beneficiaries residing in Metro Manila will receive P1,000 per person, or a maximum of P4,000 per family.
“While it is not easy to impose lockdown, the government will somehow grant financial aid,” Roque said partly in Filipino. “Where will we get this? This will be taken from the savings of all government agencies.”
The funding sources for areas placed under ECQ like NCR have been identified through Duterte’s Administrative Order (AO) 41 inked on May 4.
AO 41 provides that the savings of state departments, agencies, bureaus and offices will be used for the provision of emergency subsidies to low-income households and disadvantaged workers affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
Metro Manila will be placed under ECQ from Aug. 6 to 20 to arrest the spread of the more contagious Delta Covid-19 variant.
In case local governments of Metro Manila need additional funds, the government will tap the “windfall” collected by the Bureau of Treasury, Roque said.
There will be longer curfew hours and stricter border control across Metro Manila during the two-week implementation of ECQ.
Metro Manila mayors have agreed to impose a uniform 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. curfew hours.
Quarantine pass will also be issued to ensure the public’s access to essential goods and unhampered service of health workers and other essential personnel.
The Department of Health on Monday warned that Covid-19 cases in Metro Manila could swell up to 15,000 daily, if ECQ will not be implemented.