Palace: P13.1-B cash assistance for Metro Manila residents will come from gov’t savings

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MANILA – Malacañang announced on Tuesday that a total of PHP13.1 billion worth of monetary assistance will be given to about 10.7 million Metro Manila residents, with funds coming from all government agencies’ savings.

This comes after President Rodrigo Duterte approved on Monday the giving of financial assistance to those afflicted by the enforcement of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a virtual press conference that qualified beneficiaries in Metro Manila will receive PHP1,000 per person, with a maximum of PHP4,000 per household.

“Bagama’t napakahirap ng lockdown, eh ang gobyerno naman po ay magbibigay po ng kahit papaanong tulong pinansiyal (While it is not easy to impose lockdown, the government will somehow grant financial aid),” Roque said. “Saan po kukunin? Well, ito po ay kukunin sa savings ng lahat ng mga ahensiya ng gobyerno (Where will we get this? This will be taken from the savings of all government agencies).”

Duterte’s Administrative Order (AO) 41, signed on May 4, established the financial sources for areas under ECQ, such as NCR.

According to AO 41, the savings of the state departments, agencies, bureaus, and offices will be used for the grant of emergency subsidies to low-income households and disadvantaged workers afflicted by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

From August 6 to 20, Metro Manila will be under ECQ to stop the spread of the more contagious Delta Covid-19 variant.

If Metro Manila’s local governments need additional funding, the government will use the “windfall” acquired by the Bureau of Treasury, according to Roque.

During the two-week implementation of ECQ, there will be longer curfew hours and tighter border controls in Metro Manila.

The mayors of Metro Manila have decided to enforce a standard curfew hours from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m.

A quarantine pass will also be issued to ensure that the public has access to essential commodities and that health professionals and other essential workers can continue to work without interruption.

The Department of Health warned on Monday that if ECQ is not implemented, Covid-19 cases in Metro Manila could reach 15,000 per day.

House committees to hold hearings during break

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Spread the loveMANILA – The House of Representatives has authorized for its committees to conduct hearings during the five-week congressional break, extending until late April.