President Rodrigo Duterte has tasked Department of Budget and Management Secretary Wendel Avisado to find funding for a possible emergency cash aid that can be extended to qualified beneficiaries in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Nakapag-usap kami kagabi ni Presidente, at inatasan niya si Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado na tuliin ang budget, meaning hanapin sa budget ng agencies kung may pwede ire-align para sa second tranche [para sa GCQ areas],” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.
The first tranche of the social amelioration program had a target of covering 18 million low-income families all over the country for the month of April. This target has increased to 23 million.
The second tranche of the social amelioration program will provide P5,000 to P8,000 to 23 million low-income families.
Earlier, the government said the second tranche would only cover qualified families or households in areas under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ), and not GCQ areas.
This means only families in Metro Manila, Laguna, and Cebu City can avail of the emergency subsidy, as the areas will be under MECQ from May 16 to May 31.
“Pag-aaralan kung kakayanin na isama ang GCQ areas sa second tranche. Hanggang dun na lang muna,” Roque said.
According to Roque, the final amount each low-income family will receive will depend on the minimum wage of the region. For now, he said that the amount will still range from P5,000 to P8,000.
“Titignan pa po natin,” he added.
Areas under GCQ have eased restrictions. Business can reopen but must follow health guidelines, with some industries permitted to operate on limited capacity.
Non-essential gatherings like religious services and concerts, and close contact services like barbershops, salons, and pampering services are still prohibited under MECQ and GCQ.
Mass transport is still not allowed in areas under MECQ. Mass transport in GCQ areas is allowed, but capacity must be limited. Commuters must also wear face masks, observe social distancing, and disinfect frequently.
Don't know if you can work under MECQ or GCQ? The Presidential Communications Operations Office has listed down industries that can fully or partially operate: