Gov't allocates P23 billion for 22.9 million SAP beneficiaries in ECQ bubble - DBM
The Philippine government is planning to provide assistance to some 22.9 million beneficiaries affected by a week-long enhanced community quarantine, the Department of Budget and Management said on Monday.
Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado said that the government has "unutilized" fund from the previous Bayanihan 2 amounting to P23 billion.
"And how fortunate are we that based on the data provided to us by NEDA (National Economic and Development Authority), the ones that are going to benefit from this financial assistance would be about 22.9 million target beneficiaries, so we are still within the projected required amount to be disbursed for this purpose," he said in the televised press briefing.
He said the 22.9 million beneficiaries correspond to the 80 percent low-income population in the National Capital Region, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal, which has been under ECQ from March 29 to April 4.
Avisado could not provide further details of the "special amelioration assistance" for the residents in ECQ areas.
He said the DBM's recommendation is now with the Office of the President.
Once it is approved, Avisado said his office could immediately issue Special Allotment Release Order and Notice of Cash Allocation to the local government units, which will release the aid to the targeted beneficiaries.
In the "Laging Handa" public briefing, Senator Christopher "Bong" Go, a close ally of President Rodrigo Duterte, said the Chief Executive has yet to decide if the assistance would be in cash or in kind.
Duterte, who is set to meet some members of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases before his weekly "Talk to the People" on Monday night, might come up with a decision on the final quarantine classification from April 5 until end of the month and the government's assistance to residents in ECQ areas, said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque in his televised press briefing. Celerina Monte/DMS