No further lockdowns, no more SAP aid

Malacañang defended Thursday the decision to not allocate funds for another social amelioration program (SAP) under the proposed 2021 budget worth ₱4.506 trillion since there is no more plan to declare a nationwide quarantine or lockdown extending up to 2021.

A woman walks past armed members of a police special action man a checkpoint in Navotas on July 16, 2020 (Photo by Ted ALJIBE / AFP / MANILA BULLETIN)

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said that there is no more need for a similar amelioration program since the government has already opened up the economy.

"Tapos na po yung pagbibigay lamang ng ayuda dahil hindi na po natin plano na magkaroon ng malawakang lockdowns (We're already done giving emergency cash subsidies because we have no plans of declaring widespread lockdowns)," he said.

"Hindi na po natin sila bibigyan ng ayuda dahil ang ating istratehiya na nga po ngayon ay localized lockdowns (We will not be giving cash aid anymore because our strategy now is to declare localized lockdowns)," he added.

According to Roque, the public should take care of their health so they can work and help mitigate the effects of the lockdown that was caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said this is part of the government's new campaign called "Ingat Buhay Para Sa Hanapbuhay."

"Dahil nga po sa matinding epekto ng lockdown, kinakailangan na po nating enganyuhin ang lahat na pag-ingatan ang ating buhay para po tayo ay makapaghanapbuhay (Because of the grave effects of the lockdown, we need to encourage everybody to take care of themselves so they can work)," he said.

Roque said that under the Bayanihan To Recover As One (Bayanihan 2) Act, government agencies will be giving out loans so that citizens can start their own livelihood projects.

"Karamihan po ng tulong na ibibigay natin ay para po makapaghanapbuhay na ang ating mga kababayan (Most of the assistance that we will be providing for the public will be aimed at helping them start working)," Roque said.

"Magpapautang po tayo at ito po ay galing sa DTI (Department of Trade and Industry), galing sa DOLE (Department of Labor and Employment), galing sa DA (Department of Agriculture) (We will be giving out loans from the DTI, DOLE, and DA)," he added.