Gov’t no budget for another aid if ECQ is extended – DBM chief

The government would have no budget to provide another round of aid if the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) be extended in the National Capital Region and four nearby provinces after April 4.

Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado told Dobol B TV the P22.9 billion assistance that the government that would be distributed this week is just a “one-time” aid for the one-week ECQ in the NCR Plus area—Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Bulacan, and Rizal.

“One-time financial assistance lang po ito. Pagka ito ay tumagal pa, hindi na sasapat. Kaya hanggang doon lang po ang kaya nating gawin sa kasalukuyan,” Avisado said.

(This is only one-time financial assistance. If it (lockdown) is extended, government funds will not be enough. So this is all we can do at present.)

The Development Budget Coordination Committee led by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), has not discussed the possibility of providing a of assistance of ECQ affected areas.

“Kaya po ‘di natin masasabi na kapag ito ay tumagal pa eh meron pa tayong ibibigay. Wala po kaming pinag-uusapan na ganyan. Ang atin ay one-time assistance ang kaya nating gawin sa ngayon,” he said.

Gov’t no budget for another aid if ECQ is extended – DBM chief

(That’s why we can’t say that if it lasts longer, we will still have something to give. We are not talking about that. Ours is one-time assistance that we can do right now.)

About 22.9 million poor Filipino workers affected by the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro  and neighboring provinces will receive financial assistance from the government, according to the Palace.

The funding will come from P23 billion in unspent money from Bayanihan to Recover As One-Act.

The Palace, on the other hand, said that the impact of the extended ECQ on the country’s economy needs to be balanced even though it does not look like the number of cases will increase too much if the ECQ ends on April 4 compared to if it lasts until April 18.

This is after the Department of Health (DOH) said that one week’s ECQ did not seem to be enough to curb the rise in COVID-19 cases.