MANILA— The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Thursday slammed circulating posts that individuals still unvaccinated against COVID-19 would not receive any government aid when tougher lockdowns resume, describing it as "fake news."
In a statement, Interior Spokesperson Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said the so-called "Ayuda 2" that the President approved is meant for low-income families in the capital region "regardless of vaccination status."
"DILG is warning the public about fake news and disinformation that is currently spreading about the vaccination and the ayuda (government aid) ... There is no truth whatsoever to the rumor that only vaccinated individuals will be given ayuda," the statement read.
"The guidelines are now being finalized for the immediate release of the funds following the same system implemented during Ayuda 1 last April," Malaya added.
The statement came a day before the reintroduction of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila and after videos and photos circulated on social media showed thousands of people lining up outside Las Piñas City's vaccination sites supposedly driven by misinformation.
While people can be seen wearing their masks, physical distancing was not followed.
Las Piñas City Spokesperson Paul San Miguel earlier said they received reports of people flocking to vaccination sites despite curfew hours after receiving such information.
Some sites already stopped vaccinations to control the crowd.
Meanwhile, Malaya reiterated that COVID-19 vaccinations would continue during the 2-week ECQ.
"All individuals scheduled for vaccination will be considered Authorized Persons Outside Residence (APORs) and will be allowed to pass by our checkpoints upon presentation of vaccination schedule," he said.
The government has approved the Metro Manila mayors' appeal for an additional 4 million COVID-19 vaccines to ramp up their immunization program during the stricter lockdown period.
Over 10 million Filipinos are so far fully vaccinated from COVID-19, Malacañang said earlier in the day, as authorities raced against time to protect Filipinos from the more contagious Delta variant, which first emerged from India and crippled its health care system.
— with a report from Anjo Bagaoisan, ABS-CBN News