Local governments in Metro Manila will distribute cash aid by Wednesday, a Metropolitan Manila Development Authority official said Sunday.
Some 10.7 million residents are entitled to P1,000 cash aid each or up to P4,000 per family as the capital region was again placed under enhanced community quarantine from August 6 to 20, Malacañang earlier said.
The joint memorandum circular of the government agencies is expected to be signed and delivered to Metro Manila mayors later Sunday, said MMDA general manager Jojo Garcia. The funds are expected to be downloaded to local governments between Monday and Tuesday, he added.
But former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano expressed his disappointment over the government’s delayed distribution of “ayuda” to Filipino families in the National Capital Region amid the implementation of a stricter enhanced community quarantine from Aug. 6 to Aug. 20.
He said the financial assistance should have been given as early as last week for a more effective and efficient ECQ.
“I hope this is the last ECQ. If not, I hope it is well-planned,” he added.
The government must not underestimate the hardships of the Filipino people, he noted.
On Aug. 6, the Department of Budget and Management granted the release of P10.89 billion in cash assistance from government savings for 11 million constituents of Metro Manila.
“Let’s give them 10,000 pesos, not 10,000 excuses,” he said.
Meanwhile, amid the surge of cases of COVID-19 Delta variant, Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Ray Villafuerte wants a reboot of the “10K Ayuda” bill for the benefit of families outside the National Capital Region.
“Rather than push through with the P400-billion Bayanihan to Arise as One (Bayanihan 3) bill, which seemingly has slim, if not nil, Palace support, the House leadership should consider a separate 10K
Ayuda bill to provide instant financial aid to the hardest-hit families across the country other than those living in Metro Manila who are due to receive another round of cash grants starting this week,” he noted.
The government would start the distribution of P10.84 billion in cash subsidies to those hit the hardest by the two-week re-imposition of enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government earlier announced that the P10.89-billion fund has already been downloaded to the local government units in Metro Manila, and that the cash aid which is equivalent to P1,000 per qualified individual but at a maximum of P4,000 per household would be given to the beneficiaries beginning this week.
Following the opening of the third and final regular session of the 18th Congress, Speaker Lord Allan Velasco and other House leaders called for the Senate approval of a counterpart to House Bill 411 or the proposed P401-billion Bayanihan 3 bill, which the House passed in June just before the legislature’s sine die adjournment.
Villafuerte said the revival of the 10K Ayuda bill, even if it was already consolidated and substituted with HB 9411, now that this P401-billion stimulus package could end up gathering dust in the legislature after Malacañang expressed a lack of interest in supporting this half-baked House-approved measure.
“It’s time to accord Bayanihan 3 the repose it deserves and give the ‘10K Ayuda’ bill a reboot to provide instant financial aid to pandemic-hit Filipinos and, in the process, spur an economic bounce back by boosting household consumption, which accounts for two-thirds of our economy,” he said.
Discussions on the 10K Ayuda bill authored by Cayetano, Villafuerte and the other members of the independent majority bloc BTS sa Kongreso, could be reopened at the committee level in Congress.
He proposed that the House leadership, rather than put off all of the chamber’s activities during the ECQ period, should initiate informal meetings among House members via Zoom so legislators could take up priority concerns such as the proposed 2022 budget, the 10K Ayuda bill and other Covid-19 response measures that the Congress might need to consider when committee and plenary sessions resume after the ECQ period.