DBM exec explains why gov’t only gave one-time ECQ aid in NCR Plus

The government will only provide P1,000 per individual affected by the 2 -week enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal, and Laguna () once.

According to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Sec. Wendel Avisado, the funding for the social amelioration program taken from the remaining budget for the implementation of Bayanihan 2 is only P22.9 billion.

Avisado explained that only P1,000 or up to P4,000 per family can be given in government assistance because it is also necessary to allocate a budget for other regions that are likely to experience strict quarantine classification.

“The financial assistance or ayuda that we’re giving out now is just a one-time financial assistance. The other dimension of this that perhaps needs to be looked into is what about the regions who may yet also experience the same kind of reclassification later on? And that’s the thing that we’re also preparing for. And by then, we would also be needing the assistance of Congress already for an enabling law similar to Bayanihan 1 and Bayanihan 2,” said Avisado on Wednesday.

DBM exec explains why gov’t only gave one-time ECQ aid in NCR Plus

About 22.9 million families are targeted to be given P1,000 each due to the implementation of the ECQ.

According to Avisado, the economy will no longer be able to extend the ECQ in Metro Manila and neighboring provinces.

Although the number of will continue to rise, Avisado said it is also possible to slightly lower the limit on economic activities, under the modified ECQ.

“We cannot just be putting all our energies on health, but rather balancing it to make sure that our economy is still moving ahead and surviving this pandemic,” said Avisado.

According to the latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, from 4 million unemployed in January, 200,000 were immediately added to the jobless in February, bringing the country’s unemployment rate to 8.8 percent.