Aid to be given to areas placed under ECQ â Palace
Residents of Batasan Hills in Quezon City line up to receive their financial assistance from the government on the second day of distribution on April 8, 2021.
The STAR/Michael Varcas

Aid to be given to areas placed under ECQ — Palace

Alexis Romero (Philstar.com) - July 21, 2021 - 8:40pm

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Wednesday vowed to provide aid to areas that were placed on lockdown last week because of rising COVID-19 infections.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the amount to be given to residents of Iloilo province, Iloilo City, Cagayan De Oro and Gingoog City may not be lower than the aid distributed in Metro Manila when it was placed on lockdown last March.

The government had distributed P1,000 aid to workers affected by the mobility restrictions in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal and Laguna. Low-income families, meanwhile, had received P4,000 each. 

"The president was telling the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases) that he won't allow areas to be placed under ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) without giving aid to people who cannot work," Roque said at a press briefing.  

"To the people in Iloilo province, Iloilo City, Cagayan De Oro, and Gingoog, you are not forgotten by the president. Aid will be given to you. Perhaps, it will not be lower than the aid given to residents of Metro Manila who were not able to work when Metro Manila was under ECQ," he added.

Iloilo province, Iloilo City, Cagayan De Oro and Gingoog City will be under the strictest ECQ until the end of the month.

Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno said the social welfare department is coordinating with local officials for the distribution of assistance.

"It has to be targeted. What I am telling my constituents is I don’t want to give false hope that everybody is going to be given cash aid and so on. What is important is they regard the ECQ as a mode to ensure that the Delta variant is contained," Moreno said.

Moreno said while the declaration of ECQ is necessary to address the Delta variant, measures should not be too strict since many people from neighboring towns go to Cagayan de Oro to work or do essential things. He said there are reports that in one checkpoint, authorities are asking for swab and RT-PCR results.

"We have to be considerate. Those who are in neighboring municipalities, virtually, they are part of Cagayan de Oro already," the mayor said.

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