Palace rules out cash aid

MALACAÑANG does not see the need to provide cash aid during the implementation of a stricter general community quarantine (GCQ) in Metro Manila and four provinces.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said it is unlikely for the government to provide cash subsidies similar to what it did during the period of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) last year.

“Dahil hindi naman po natin pinipigil magtrabaho ang ating mga kababayan ay hindi na po tayo dapat magbigay ng ganung ayuda dahil pwede pong maghanapbuhay ang lahat (we are not preventing the public from going to work, there is no need for us to provide similar aid),” Roque said in a news briefing on Monday.

“I understand ’yung mga local governments po, ’yung mga subject to localized and granular nagbibigay po rin sila ng ayuda (But I understand local governments are providing aid to those under localized and granular lockdowns),” he added.

Last year, the government provided up to P8,000 emergency cash aid under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act and the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act to poor families living in areas under strict lockdown.

Workers who lost their jobs and businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic were also given assistance.

On Sunday, the government ordered the implementation of a stricter GCQ in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal.

Business establishments in these areas will remain open except for cinemas, arcades, driving schools, museums and cultural centers, among others.
Indoor dining was prohibited.

Even without the distribution of cash subsidies, Roque said the government continues to assist affected individuals and businesses through existing government programs.

“Tuloy tuloy naman po ’yung ating support lalong-lalo na sa small and medium corporation
(We are continuously supporting them especially small and medium corporations),” he said.

“Ang DoLE (Department of Labor and Employment) [ay] patuloy ang pagbibigay ng Tupad (Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers) dahil ang dami pong nawalan ng trabaho maski ang ginagawa natin ngayon ay hindi natin sinasarado ang industriya para nga makapagpatuloy na makapagtrabaho ’yung mga walang trabaho. So wala pong tigil ’yan (The DoLE is assisting displaced workers through Tupad, we are not closing industries to allow people to continue work. These programs are continuing),” Roque added.