Nograles: 'Ayuda' for NCR ECQ likely at P1k; aid for MSMEs up to Congress

Published August 1, 2021, 11:17 AM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said residents who will be affected by the scheduled two-week enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila will most likely receive the same cash aid or “ayuda” of P1,000 or up to P4,000 per family as the last time the region was in ECQ.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles (Nograles/Facebook)

Nograles made the statement ahead of the shift of the National Capital Region (NCR) to ECQ from August 6 to 20, 2021.

In an interview with Super Radyo DZBB, Nograles said the amount will unlikely change unless there was a directive from President Duterte.

“Yun kasi yung ginawa natin the last time so I don’t think magbabago naman po ‘yan (That is what we did the last time so I don’t think that will change),” he said.

“Unless may advice galing kay Pangulo. Otherwise, ang ipa-follow lang natin kung ano yung template noong nakaraan (Unless there would be a new directive from the President, we will follow our template from the last time),” he added.

The Palace official said the government will use the two previous Bayanihan laws in distributing the cash assistance to the beneficiaries.

The first round of cash aid was physically distributed while the second round was made through electronic transactions.

This time, Nograles said it would probably be a mix of both but admitted digital transactions would be easier since it is easy to trace and audit.

Metro Manila shifted to ECQ in April this year due to a surge of COVID-19 cases. The same reason prompted President Duterte to approve its return to ECQ for two weeks this month, along with the shift of more areas to stricter quarantine classifications.

President Duterte has ordered the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to find the source to fund the cash assistance for the residents who will be affected by the ECQ.

Assistance for MSMEs

Meanwhile, Nograles said Congress should pass a law to help the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) that will be affected by the strict quarantine should the funds for the budget programs of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) not suffice.

“Without another law, I don’t know kung saan din magso-source ng funding (where can we source the funding for the assistance),” he said.

“Kung sasabihin ng Congress na kailangan nating pumasa ng bagong Bayanihan law para tugunan yung pangangailangan ng mga (If Congress thinks that we need a new Bayanihan law to address the needs of) MSMEs, then it’s really up to Congress to do that,” he added.