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P1K cash aid not enough for 2-week ECQ — Bayan Muna

P1K cash aid not enough for 2-week ECQ — Bayan Muna

MANILA, Philippines — The government’s P1,000 cash aid is not be enough to buy food and other essential items during a two-week enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

This was according to the party-list group Bayan Muna on Sunday, after one of their members it said, bought items at the Commonwealth Market just enough to feed a family of four for three days.

But the “ECQ bubble” which is now being enforced in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal is now going into its second week having started last March 28 after President Rodrigo Duterte approved a recommendation from the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).

According to Bayan Muna, their member Thata Alindogan was able to buy only the following items with her P1,000:

rice (5 kilos) – P200
cooking oil – P60
eggs (1 dozen) – P86
chicken – P320
vegetables (sayote, leaves, eggplant, squash) – P66
vegetables (onion, garlic, tomato) – P48
bananas – P40
bagoong (fermented fish paste) – P55
fish (galunggong or Mackerel scad, 1/4 kilogram) – P40
condiments (salt, pepper) – P20
instant coffee – P39

The total was P974.00 — which Bayan Muna said does not leave much in change to buy other items or even pay for transportation fare.

“Hindi na nakabili ng baboy dahil P320/kg, kulang na rin ang sukli sa pamasahe,” (It is not enough to buy pork and even to pay for the fare) Alindogan said.

Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate asked the government to immediately release this aid as people whose jobs were affected are in need of immediate assistance.

“Today is the seventh day, supposedly the last of the now extended weeklong day[ECQ], but until now, majority of those affected within the National Capital Region (NCR) plus bubble have yet to receive the P1,000 aid, either in cash or in kind,” Zarate said in a statement.

“Ano ba naman ito? Mag-e-ECQ ng bigla-bigla kasama ng pagsasara ng mga empresa at kawalan ng trabaho at pagkain ng karamihan,tapos ang bagal naman ng ayuda,” he added.

(What is this mess? The government places areas under an ECQ hastily which required the closure of some workplaces that led to the loss of jobs — which ultimately led to hunger — but the aid provision is so slow.)

Last March 30, President Duterte approved a P1,000-worth of in-kind and cash aid per ECQ-affected individual affected by the lockdown. Several members of a family can receive the ECQ aid, but only a maximum of P4,000 worth of assistance will be given per family.

The national government was forced to place the five areas under ECQ after a surge in COVID-19 cases. As of Sunday, the Philippines has recorded over 135,526 active cases, the majority of which is found inside the “ECQ bubble.”

The case tally peaked at over 160,000 before the usually tallied recoveries on Sunday. Still, the country has seen the daily increase in COVID-19 cases go over the 10,000-mark at least four times within the past week.

Earlier, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said the ECQ aid will be released to local government units starting Monday.

But even if the aid finally comes out, Bayan Muna believes it would not be enough to cover the expenses — especially for those displaced from their jobs for over a week.

“In the event that the supposed aid finally comes and one gets 1,000 pesos per person or even 4,000 pesos per family, this would not be enough for an average family of five (5) for two(2) weeks, as our Bayan Muna team who conducted the P1000 challenge at the Commonwealth Market can attest,” Zarate said.

“Madaliin na dapat ng pamahalaan ang ayuda sa mga tao at mas ang ibigay na ay ang P10K na panawagan ng karamihan hindi ang kakarampot na isang libo lang,” Alindogan added.

(The government should release the ECQ aid the soonest, and hear the people’s plea to have P10,000 assistance and not a mere P1,000 aid.)

/MUF

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