The government is committed to implement a swift and orderly distribution of financial aid to Metro Manila’s poor and vulnerable population affected by another round of strict lockdown.
According to Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, the government is neither blind nor insensitive to the suffering of the people during the two-week enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) this month.
A P13.1-billion social amelioration program is set to be implemented to assist around 10.7 million poor and vulnerable people in NCR during the ECQ period. Under the aid program, P1,000 will be given to a beneficiary or a maximum of P4,000 per household.
Of the fund allocation for financial aid program, around P2.4 billion excess fund will serve as contingency.
“Marami ang tiyak na apektado sa hakbang na ito dito sa ECQ ngunit hindi tayo bulag o manhid sa paghihirap na dinaranas at mararanasan ng ating mga kababayan na lubhang na maapektuhan (Many will certainly be affected by the ECQ but we are not blind or insensitive to the suffering endured and to be endured by our countrymen severely affected),” Nograles said during a virtual Go Negosyo-organized forum on the NCR lockdown on Wednesday, August 4.
“Naintindihan natin ‘yung agam-agam at pag-aalala ng mga nangangailangan ng tulong at umaasa sa kahit papaano sa pang-dugtong sa panahon ng ECQ kaya inaayos na atin para sa maayos, mabilis na distribution o pamamahagi ng ayuda para vulnerable sector (We understand the concern and worry of those in need and relying on aid during the ECQ so we want to ensure an orderly, fast distribution of aid to the vulnerable sector),” he said.
Nograles noted that more than 400,000 may temporarily lose their jobs since their sectors belonged to the ECQ-sensitive industries but assured that aid will be extended.
The ECQ, the most restrictive of the four quarantine classifications to curb the virus spread, will take effect in Metro Manila from August 6 to 20 to curb the rising cases of infections fueled by the Delta variant. Only essential businesses and services are allowed while a stay-at-home rule for most residents will be enforced during the hard lockdown. This is the third time the capital region will be placed under ECQ.
Nograles, in the same online forum, defended the government’s decision to impose the NCR-wide lockdown, saying it was necessary to save more lives and prevent the hospitals from getting overwhelmed with coronavirus cases.
The impact of the lockdown on NCR’s COVID case rate will likely be known two weeks after the movement restrictions, said the co-chair of the government’s task force in charge of addressing the pandemic.
“Our expectations at the very least is because we will be maximizing this forthcoming lockdown, there will no steady increase so not to overwhelm health care system, that’s the main objective, to save health care and most importantly, save lives,” Nograles said.