August 04, 2021
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 3)— Government savings worth more than ₱13 billion will be tapped for the financial aid for Metro Manila residents when the region goes into hard lockdown from Aug. 6 to 20, Malacañang said Tuesday.
The Palace made the announcement a day after saying the source for funds was still uncertain.
In his regular briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque cited the recently signed Administrative Order No. 41 which directed departments to identify savings from their respective 2020 budgets, so that they may be tapped as additional funds for pandemic response measures.
A total of ₱13.1 billion will be used to finance the cash aid for 10.7 million Metro Manila residents, according to Roque.
The Budget Department also confirmed the funding source in an interview with CNN Philippines, as it guaranteed a swift release of the financial assistance.
“We just want to assure that the DBM will facilitate the prompt release of the funds upon the approval of the President,” Budget Undersecretary Rolando Toledo told News Night, pertaining to a written document of approval from the Office of the President.
Toledo expressed hope that local government units may start distributing aid by Friday in time for the start of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the capital region.
The President recently approved the provision of ₱1,000 in assistance per individual, or a maximum of ₱4,000 per household during the ECQ period.
"Kung meron pa po tayong kinakailangan na iba pang ibigay na financial assistance dahil nga po dito sa ECQ, kukunin naman po natin ‘yan sa tinatawag na windfall na nakolekta po ng Bureau of Treasury," Roque added.
[Translation: If we still need to provide additional financial assistance because of this ECQ, we will source them from the windfall collected by the Bureau of Treasury.]
The President has emphasized lockdowns cannot be declared without the provision of cash aid, Roque reiterated.