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No cash aid: NCR residents to get food packs during granular lockdowns

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Metro Manila residents in areas under “granular lockdown” can expect to receive food packs from the national government and local officials as the capital region shifts to an experimental quarantine system on Thursday.

The imposition of 14-day lockdowns in select houses, buildings, streets, or villages would be accompanied by a five-level alert system that was recently introduced by the pandemic task force, which the government hopes would better control Covid-19 cases while spurring business activity.

“During the first seven days of the lockdown, the local government unit would provide food packs, while the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) would give another food pack for the remaining seven days,” said Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez, who also chairs the Metro Manila Council.

The government, he added, won’t hand out financial aid to residents affected by the 14-day mobility restrictions.

Deputy Minority Leader and Marikina Rep. Stella Quimbo earlier urged the national government to provide financial assistance to poor residents during granular lockdown, citing the DSWD’s P15.9 billion unutilized funds this year.

Under the granular lockdown scheme, only health professionals employed in hospitals, laboratories, and dialysis facilities were allowed to move within, into, and out of their areas.

Those seeking urgent medical attention, overseas Filipino workers bound for international travel, and those returning to their respective residences after having completed facility-based quarantine upon arrival were also allowed to enter and exit the said areas.

Individuals whose homes or residences were located within areas under granular lockdown may enter the said place for the sole purpose of returning to their respective homes or residences, but must thereafter remain therein for the 14-day period.

Food and essential items intended for delivery within areas under granular lockdown can only be unloaded at border collection points designated by the local officials.

The new rules would take effect starting Thursday as Metro Manila would be placed under alert level 4, the second strictest of the five-level quarantine system set by the pandemic task force.

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