ECQ-hit families can still get 'ayuda' despite new MECQ status — Palace

Published August 23, 2021, 2:35 PM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Malacañang has assured residents affected by the two-week enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila who have yet to receive the cash aid or “ayuda” that they can still get financial assistance despite the downgrade to less stringent quarantine status.

Residents in Manila receive the P4,000 cash assistance from the national government at the distribution site in Jose Abad Santos High School in Binondo, Manila on August 11, 2021. (Ali Vicoy / MANILA BULLETIN)

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque made the statement after President Duterte approved moving the National Capital Region (NCR) to modified ECQ (MECQ) starting August 21 to 31 after being under a strict lockdown due to the rise of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases.

In his press briefing on Monday, August 23, Roque said there was no truth to reports that those who were not able to receive the “ayuda” will not anymore get the said assistance because the ECQ period had already lapsed.

“Wala pong katotohanan na habang nagbaba na tayo ng classification to MECQ, yung hindi pa nabibigyan ng ayuda ay hindi na mabibigyan (It’s not true that just because we downgraded to MECQ that those waiting for the cash aid will no longer receive it),” he said.

“Habang hindi niyo pa po natatanggap ang ayuda ninyo miski naibaba na sa MECQ ang classification, tatanggapin niyo pa rin po ang ayuda na intended para doon sa panahon ng ECQ (As long as you haven’t received the cash aid despite the downgrade to MECQ, you will still get the assistance that was intended for the ECQ period),” he added.

The government has allocated cash aid worth P1,000 per individual or up to P4,000 per family in areas that were placed under ECQ including Metro Manila, Laguna, and Bataan.

In Metro Manila, Roque said that 75 percent of the P11.25 billion downloaded to different local government units (LGUs) have already been distributed to 8.4 million beneficiaries.

The Palace official noted the following NCR LGUs as those that have distributed the financial assistance the fastest:

  • Caloocan: 100 percent
  • Pateros: 96.87 percent
  • Mandaluyong: 85.52 percent
  • Parañaque: 77.89 percent

LGUs were given 15 days to complete the distribution of the financial assistance. However, they were allowed an extension in case they were not able to finish in time due to the challenges brought about by the pandemic.

Meanwhile, Roque said the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has food packs as additional assistance to what the LGUs have distributed.