MANILA — About 80 percent of residents in Metro Manila will get cash aid from the national government when the region returns for 2 weeks to the strictest of 4 lockdown levels, Malacañang said on Tuesday.
Metro Manila's 13 million people will be under enhanced community quarantine from Aug. 6 to 20.
Some 10.7 million residents will get P1,000 each. Up to 4 members of a family can get the cash aid, said Palace spokesman Harry Roque.
The assistance will be funded by P13.1 billion in government savings, which includes P2.4 billion worth of "contingency" funds for "whatever we may still need", he said in a press briefing.
"Hindi naman po natin nasisisurado talaga 'yong bilang. Lumalaki 'yan, lumiliit, depende sa mga listahan. Meron lang tayong provision for contingency," added the official.
(We are not sure of the number. It increases, decreases depending on the list of beneficiaries. We have a provision for contingency.)
He did not say when the aid distribution would start.
A surge in COVID-19 cases driven by the Delta variant has been rattling parts of Asia, including countries which had been relatively successful at containing the virus.
Just 200 cases of the Delta variant had been detected in the community, of which 17 were still active, Philippines' Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said, although genome testing capacity in the Southeast Asian country is limited.
Infections in the Philippines exceeded 8,000 a day from Friday to Monday. Sunday's recorded tally of 8,735 infections was the highest since May 28.
Strict quarantine curbs could help cap the number of active COVID-19 cases to around 25,000 by the end of September, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said.
In a weekly national address, President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday committed to providing vaccines to every Filipino. "It's just a matter of priority on hot spots like Manila. People are here so transmission is faster."
— With a report from Reuters