The government can fund P12 billion needed to provide cash help for individuals impacted by the strict lockdown, which will begin on August 6, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd said.
“We were informed that the amount required is about P12 billion and we have indicated that we have sufficient access revenue to cover this,” he said on Wednesday.
President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the distribution of financial assistance to residents living in areas under the tightest enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
According to the Malacanang, the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation program will provide each beneficiary with P1,000 cash, with a maximum of P4,000 per household.
In an effort to restrict the highly transmissible Delta strain of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), the government imposed an ECQ in Metro Manila from August 6 to 20.
Dominguez said the cash aid fund will come from dividends paid to the Bureau of the Treasury by government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCC).
The majority of GOCC remittances were spent on monetary aid for pandemic-affected vulnerable sectors last year, the Department of Finance has stressed.
It said a total of P119.1 billion was used to partially fund the government’s social amelioration program, which aimed to mitigate the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the country’s poorest households and other vulnerable sectors.
Dominguez went on to explain that the government doesn’t need to realign its budget, especially for infrastructure projects, to fund cash subsidies.
He also said that the government will not use the new $650-billion Special Drawing Rights allotment from the International Monetary Fund. Emerging markets and developing countries, such as the Philippines, as well as low-income countries, will receive $275 billion of the total.