Close to 80 percent of the 13 million residents in Metro Manila are set to receive a one-time P1,000 cash assistance — or a maximum of P4,000 per qualified household — during the hard lockdown starting Wednesday, presidential spokesman Harry Roque said.
This after the Department of Budget and Management released a total of P10.894 billion to the local government units in Metro Manila, which was placed under Enhanced Community Quarantine Friday last week until August 20.
LGUs have 15 days to finish the distribution of the ayuda, but they are allowed to seek an extension if they are unable to complete it due to the challenges brought about by the pandemic.
Meanwhile, poor households in the provinces of Laguna and Bataan as well as in Cagayan de Oro City and Iloilo City, which were also placed under ECQ, will also receive cash aid, Roque said.
He said the DBM has proposed a P2.715 billion cash aid for Laguna while computations are still being made for Bataan.
Laguna, Iloilo City, and Cagayan de Oro will be under ECQ until Aug. 15, Metro Manila until Aug. 20; and Bataan until Aug. 22
Under the ECQ status, only essential establishments and industries such as hospitals, groceries, and courier and delivery services, among others, will be allowed to fully operate while the movement of the general public will be limited.
Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Monday sought an increase in the funds for the social services sector in the to-be-submitted National Expenditures Program for 2022 .
He also asked for a reappropriation of security sector funds to pandemic response, including the release of cash aid.
Starting 2018, Drilon said the social services sector has suffered a negative growth and slightly increased by only 0.5 percent in 2021.
In contrast, except in 2019, the budget share of the defense sector is on an upward trend.
“It cannot be the norm again next year, if we want to fast-track our economic recovery and lift our people out of poverty, hunger and unemployment,” Drilon said.
“Even if the national budget kept growing over the years, the percent share of social services to the national budget didn’t grow along with it and has in fact suffered decreases,” he added.