Gov’t assures cash aid for those who won't be able to work during one-week ECQ

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 27) — Presidential spokesman Harry Roque assured financial assistance for workers who will be affected by the one week implementation of the enhanced community quarantine in the NCR Plus bubble.

In a briefing Saturday, Roque said the government is now finalizing the source of funds and the guidelines for the distribution of cash aid.

"Sa Lunes po, nag-commit po ang economic team na unang-una malalaman na kung saan kukunin ang assistance, kung magkano ang assistance, at kung ano iyong pamamaraan para madistribute ito," Roque explained.

[Translation: The economic team committed that they will first announce on Monday where to source the assistance, how much will this be, and how this will be distributed.]

The Palace announced that Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal—also known as the NCR Plus—will be placed under the strictest community quarantine as COVID-19 infections continue to spike. This means movement will be limited and only selected industries will be allowed to operate.

During the same period last year, many areas were also placed under lockdown after the country reported its first coronavirus case. Many had no choice but to remain in their homes with no means to earn.

The government then distributed financial assistance through various forms of programs like the Labor Department's Tulong Paghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced workers program that gave beneficiaries ₱5,000 each.

Local chief executives are now saying more should benefit from the assistance, but this could mean lower amounts for each beneficiary, Roque said.

Latest data from the Department of Health showed total COVID-19 cases in the country have breached 712,000, with a new all-time high for the number of active cases at 118,122. Some 581,000 patients have recovered, and around 13,000 have died.