Vice President Leni Robredo called for faster and more efficient distribution of cash assistance or ayuda for residents who will be affected by the two-week enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the National Capital Region (NCR).
Robredo made the statement a day before Metro Manila shifted to ECQ from August 6 to 20, 2021 due to the rise of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases.
In a statement, the Vice President said the government should have by now found a better method of distribution of the cash aid since this was not the first time NCR was placed under ECQ.
“Sa panahong ito, dapat wala tayong ibang priority kundi ‘yung makapagbigay ng agarang tulong sa mga pamilyang apektado ng lockdown, lalo na ‘yung mga nawalan ng kabuhayan (In times like this, we should prioritize giving immediate assistance to families affected by the lockdown, especially those who lost their livelihoods),” she said Thursday, August 5.
“Pang-ilang ECQ na natin ito, so we expect na sana by now, naplantsa na natin ‘yung proseso at sistema ng delivery ng assistance (This is our third ECQ so we expect that, hopefully, by now we have ironed out the process and system for the delivery of assistance),” she added.
“Ayuda muna bago ang lahat (Assistance before anything else),” she continued.
The government has allotted P13.1 billion to provide a one-time cash grant to about 10.7 million Metro Manila residents who will be affected by NCR’s shift to ECQ.
The government has assured that affected residents will receive P1,000 or a maximum of P4,000 per family.
Meanwhile, Vice President Robredo urged the government to make use of the two-week lockdown to expand testing, tracing, hospital readiness, social amelioration, and vaccination efforts to prevent another widescale ECQ.
“Daily testing should be increased from 50,000 to 120,000 to effectively detect infections, contact tracing should be strengthened by using only one contact tracing app and creating a central database so that outbreaks can be pinpointed, and lockdowns are more granular,” she said.
According to Robredo, the entire Office of the Vice President (OVP) was all hands on deck to help deliver to communities assistance such as food and relief packages, especially for poor families whose breadwinners will be unable to work and earn under ECQ.