The national government will spend around P13.1 billion to provide ayuda or cash assistance to some 10.7 million residents in the National Capital Region (NCR) who will be affected by the two-week lockdown, Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said on Tuesday, August 3.
The funds will come from the savings of government agencies and departments “from their respective appropriations under the General Appropriations Act (GAA) for fiscal year 2020.”
“Lahat ng unobligated continuing appropriation savings na dineklara ng mga departamento, ahensya, at mga opisina ng national government (All of the unobligated continuing appropriation savings declared by the departments, agencies, and offices of the national government),” Roque said during his virtual press briefing.
This was already indicated on the Administrative Order No. 41 signed by President Duterte last year, he added.
Some 10.7 million of the 14.1 million population in NCR will receive P1,000 per person or up to a maximum of P4,000 per family for the two-week enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), the country’s most restrictive quarantine classification.
The ECQ will take effect in Metro Manila from August 6 to 20. This is the third time the capital region will be placed under ECQ.
Malacañang is hopeful for the early release the funds to the local government units (LGUs), so they can start distributing the money to the beneficiaries of the cash aid program.
The agencies and LGUs were given a one-week allowance to prepare for the lockdown.
Roque said that if more financial assistance is needed because of the ECQ, the government will tap the “windfall” collected by the Bureau of Treasury.
The President earlier mandated the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to “find the money” to provide cash aid for the residents who will be affected by the lockdown starting on Friday.
The surge in cases of the more transmissible and contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus across the country, particularly in NCR and Region 7, pushed the government to declare another lockdown to prevent the health care system from getting overwhelmed.
On Monday, August 3, the Department of Health (DOH) recorded 8,167 cases, bringing the total number of cases to more than 1.6 million with 62,615 active cases.