MANILA — Distribution of pandemic assistance might start this week for 22.9 million people in Metro Manila and 4 surrounding provinces, which are under the toughest of 4 lockdown levels, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said on Monday.
President Rodrigo Duterte last week approved the P22.9-billion assistance for low-income earners in the capital region and Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal provinces, which are under enhanced community quarantine until April 11.
"Maaaring magsimula po iyong pamamahagi ng financial assistance bukas po or April 7, matapos na maibaba ngayon araw ng Bureau of Treasury ang pondo sa mga concerned local governments," said DSWD Spokesperson Irene Dumlao.
(The distribution of financial assistance might start tomorrow or on April 7, after the Bureau of Treasury releases funds to concerned local governments.)
It is up to local governments to decide whether the aid will be in cash or in kind, she said in a televised public briefing.
For every family, up to 4 members can receive P1,000 worth of assistance each, she added.
Local government should form a committee that would address complaints on the aid distribution, Dumlao said. Complaints that the committee would fail to address could be forwarded to the DSWD, she said.
ECQ restrictions were set to end last April 4, before they were extended until April 11. Restrictions include a ban on non-essential movement, mass gatherings and dining in restaurants.
"This will go with intensified prevention, detection, isolation, tracing and rehabilitation that we will monitor on a daily basis," Malacañang spokesman Harry Roque said on Saturday.
Extended coronavirus curbs will continue to hurt the Philippines' economy, which posted a record 9.5 percent slump last year.
— With a report from Reuters