DSWD Sec. Rolando Bautista says he believes the funds for SAP are running low

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(FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 26) — Government funds for the country's social amelioration program are running low as the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) has been extended for two weeks more, Social Welfare secretary Rolando Bautista said.

"The implementation of the SAP only on the beneficiaries in ECQ areas is in consideration with the budget availability. I’m sure you have heard the thoughts of Secretary Dominguez and Secretary Wendel Avisado. So, bottomline there is really the budget intended for the succeeding days of the ECQ in short of saying is running short," Secretary Bautista told CNN Philippines Sunday

However, Bautista said the remark was only his personal opinion.

Earlier, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said poor families in provinces where the enhanced community quarantine has been lifted will no longer receive a second wave of cash aid, as the money will now be given to more families in Metro Manila and other areas which remain under lockdown due to COVID-19.

Roque said the distribution will then be limited to Metro Manila, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, and other provinces and cities which remain under enhanced community quarantine following the President Rodrigo Duterte's announcement of another two-week extension.

Duterte also said restrictions will be eased in areas to be placed under general community quarantine starting May.

When asked how poor families in areas placed unter general community quarantine would be able to provide for themselves., Bautista said he believes economic activities in these areas woud resume.

"Ito rin po yung pinag uusapan ng different agencies particularly yung mga economic planners natin, the DTI, DOTr... The way I see it is they will ensure that..economic activities or commerce will continue. With that, chances are yung mga nagtatrabaho, yung mga workers will be able to continue their work and earn an amount intended for their families," he said.

Bautista said members of the interagency technical working group on social amelioration programn has convened to discuss formulating guidelines relative to Roque's pronouncement.

"These guidelines have to be presented to the interagency task force on infectious disease of course for their approval," he added.