The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said the government released nearly P11 billion to fund the cash assistance needed for Metro Manila during the two-week enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
In a statement, the budget department said Friday, August 6, that a total of P10.89 billion was disbursed to cover the financial assistance of affected individuals and households in the National Capital Region (NCR) that was placed under ECQ from August 6 to 20.
According to the DBM, the ECQ cash aid was charged from last year’s savings.
“The cash aid will be released directly by the Bureau of the Treasury to the concerned local government units (LGUs) through their respective authorized government servicing banks,” DBM said.
Upon receipt of the funds, DBM said the LGUs shall facilitate and determine the most efficient and effective way for the provision of financial assistance to their constituents.
Affected low-income individuals and families are expected to receive P1,000 per person and a maximum of P4,000 per household, the department said.
The government’s cash assistance aims “to ensure that food and other non-food requirements are met despite the imposed lockdown,” DBM said.
“Overall, the cash aid shall benefit 10.9 million individuals or the bottom 80 percent of the population in Metro Manila, based on the population projection and available data of the Philippine Statistics Authority,” DBM said.
In addition, DBM said the distribution of the assistance will be monitored by the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
President Duterte earlier mandated the DBM to “find the money” to provide cash aid for the residents affected by the lockdown that began on Friday.
The surge in cases of the more transmissible Delta variant 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.
Earlier, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua said Metro Manila’s shift back to ECQ would result in roughly P210 billion in losses to the local economy.
Chua said the strictest quarantine status would also raise poverty and intend employers to layoff employees.
“Each week of ECQ in NCR [national capital region] will cost economy P105 billion, also increase poor people by up to 177,000 and 444,000 more without jobs,” Chua said.
Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said the government has sufficient funds to provide cash assistance, especially for poor families, during the two-week ECQ.
Dominguez said the government may need P12 billion for the ECQ cash aid, which has been fully covered by “excess revenue” coming from government-owned and -controlled corporations.