Lawmaker: Residents in areas under granular lockdown should receive cash aid

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 14) — A lawmaker is calling on the government to provide cash aid to residents in areas that will be placed under granular lockdown.

AAMBIS-Owa Party-list Rep. Sharon Garin made the call following the government’s decision to implement an alert level system with granular lockdowns in Metro Manila. The capital region would shift to general community quarantine with Alert Level 4 on Thursday.

"We should. Because hindi kaya ng tao especially now, to start with, marami na ngang walang livelihood," Garin told CNN Philippines' The Source on Tuesday, when asked whether financial aid must still be given to residents.

[Translation: Because people cannot make ends meet especially now, to start with, many have lost their livelihood.]

Garin said the government can still choose to provide food packs instead of cash aid, but a more sustainable way to solve the problem is to allow more economic activities in order to boost income and consumer spending.

"Now the question is, can we afford that still? And that’s a question that hopefully we can say yes. Every time kasi we have a lockdown, it's costing not only the government cash but also the economy," she said.

"It would be very expensive, but if necessary, we should compensate the people for not allowing them to go out," she added.

Garin and Marikina Rep. Stella Quimbo recently filed House Resolution 2209, urging the government to implement business bubbles where there would be greater mobility among fully vaccinated individuals amid the granular lockdowns.

The Interior department earlier said that affected residents can only expect to receive food packs from the local governments and the national government during the two-week lockdown period.

READ: DILG: No cash aid in areas under granular lockdown 

Part 2, Section 7 of the latest guidelines of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases did not indicate whether financial aid may be provided to residents on lockdown.

"Households within areas under granular lockdown shall be provided assistance by their respective local government units and the Department of Social Welfare and Development, in accordance with their relevant guidelines," the IATF guidelines read.