DBM may allot ₧700M in cash aid for Bataan residents; ₧2.715B for Laguna and additional ₧278M for NCR


The government is eyeing to release around P700 million to bankroll the cash aid to Bataan residents affected by the hard lockdown, as well as an additional P278 million for Metro Manila.

Budget Undersecretary and spokesman Rolando Toledo told the BusinessMirror on Tuesday that they have already submitted these proposals to the Office of the President, along with their proposal to release P2.715 billion for the cash aid to Laguna residents.

Bataan, Laguna, and Metro Manila were recently placed under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

“Yes, [we submitted the request for the additional P278 million for the cash aid to Metro Manila], together with our request for the Bataan and Laguna,” Toledo told the BusinessMirror in a message.

Each qualified beneficiary from the areas under ECQ will get P1,000.

Each household could only avail of a maximum of four beneficiaries or a maximum of P4,000 financial assistance.

While the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has already released P10.894 billion last week to fund the cash aid to Metro Manila.

Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año told President Duterte on Monday night that an additional budget of P278 million is needed to ensure that all qualified recipients in Metro Manila will receive the cash aid.

Año said total allocation for cash aid for low-income individuals in Metro Manila should instead be P11.172 billion, citing that their computation was based on the list of recipients that received the cash aid last April and May.

Sought for comment, Toledo said they would be releasing the additional cash aid to Metro Manila once the President approves their proposal.

“Yes, once approved by the President, the DBM will be releasing the additional amount to ensure that all the affected individuals and families in the NCR [National Capital Region] are covered by the financial assistance,” Toledo told the BusinessMirror.

“The computation was based on the report submitted by the DILG, which contains the list of actual disbursements and beneficiaries last April 2021 when NCR was placed under ECQ,” he said.

Malacañang earlier said the concerned local government units in Metro Manila are expected to start the distribution of the financial assistance by today, Wednesday.

Toledo also said they expect 2.71 million individuals in Laguna and around 700,000 individuals in Bataan to benefit from the proposed cash aid.

Meanwhile, the budget official also said on Tuesday they are still studying the special budget request of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) for the release of P2 billion for displaced workers in Metro Manila during the hard lockdown.

“Kasalukuyang inaaral po ng DBM ang special budget request ng DOLE para sa cash assistance ng mga manggagawa affected by ECQ sa Metro Manila ngunit gusto lang po namin idiin po or i-emphasize na maaari naman po gamitin ng DOLE ang natitirang balanse mula sa kanilang budget para pondohan ang nasabing cash aid,” Toledo said during the Laging Handa briefing.

Should DOLE’s funds be insufficient, Toledo reiterated that said DBM would augment it, subject to the approval of the President.

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