Philippines to reassess funding if lockdown extends past May: NEDA chief


Posted at Apr 29 2020 05:15 PM | Updated as of Apr 29 2020 05:51 PM

Workers go home at the end of the day on April 28, 2020 during the enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila. Fernando G. Sepe Jr., ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The country's economic managers will likely re-assess funding sources if the COVID-19 lockdown period in high risk areas extends beyond May, acting socioeconomic planning chief Karl Kendrick Chua said Wednesday. 

The Philippines has prepared COVID-19 response funds good for 2 months from April to May, Chua told DZMM.

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"Ready po tayo for the entire April and May. Pag lumampas po 'yan sa 2 months, ang gagawin siguro ng economic managers ay i-aassess ulit kung saan po natin pwedeng kumuha ng resources," Chua said. 

(We are ready for April and May. If that goes beyond the two months, what the economic managers might do are assess again where we can get resources)

The Bayanihan to Heal as One Act covers aid for 18 million poor families and displaced workers as well as subsidies for small businesses, he said. 

President Rodrigo Duterte extended the lockdown or enhanced community quarantine in high risk areas until May 15 while other areas will be placed under the looser general community quarantine from May 1. Select businesses are allowed to partially operate in GCQ areas including malls, construction and salons.

Chua said the government and businesses that will restart on May 1 should be careful against a second wave of infections. 

"Dapat maingat tayo, wag tayo mabilis mag-open up. Dapat tingnan natin ang kabuuang kapakanan natin kasi baka magmadali tayo, mabalik naman yan nang mas matindi," Chua said. 

(We should be careful. We should not rush opening up. We should try to see the bigger picture because if we rush things, the second wave could be worse)