MANILA -- Residents from gated communities and private subdivisions can still get aid from the government during the novel coronavirus crisis but they are not a priority, an official from the Department of Interior and Local Government said Friday.
"'Yun pong ipapalabas na budget ng ating Pangulo base sa mga pinirmahan [niyang] bagong batas is actually for everybody," Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III told DZMM.
He said the government should prioritize the vulnerable sectors as they are the ones in need of help.
"In-identify lang po ng ating gobyerno 'yong priority, itong 18.5 million po na prinioritize," he said.
The government can realign the P4.1 trillion national budget aside from the P275 billion money it can get from the various government-owned and controlled corporations to get sufficient money for the aid, he said.
He added that excess aid can still be given to these residents afterwards. "Kung mayroon pong sosobra, siyempre po, lahat pwedeng pagbigyan."
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier signed into law the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act which gives him more power to respond to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The country was placed under the state of public health emergency during the Luzon-wide community quarantine in an effort to contain the virus.
As of Thursday, the health department has tallied 707 cases of COVID-19 with 45 fatalities and 28 recoveries.