Gov’t sets package to aid workers, poor families
President Duterte’s economic managers are working on an additional economic stimulus package in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, this time to aid more workers and poor families affected by the ongoing enhanced community quarantine, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said.
Dominguez said the supplemental package was “in the works” and would mainly benefit “workers in the informal sector.”
In a March 20 letter, the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines urged Congress to unleash not only unspent budget funds but also resources of government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs).
Dominguez said they were open to Finex’s proposed emergency program.
As far as GOCC funds were concerned, Dominguez said the departments of Health, Interior and Local Government and Social Welfare and Development together with local government units would have to determine how to disburse them—it “could result in a combination of providing food and/or cash subsidies for food, normal health care and other necessities.”
This additional aid may be extended to households who are not currently covered by the government’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, Dominguez said.
The economic team earlier unveiled a P27.1-billion fiscal support package for COVID-19 response, of which more than half will go to tourism-related projects and programs as the sector was worst hit so far.
Estimates of UK-based Oxford Economics had shown the domestic tourism sector’s direct and indirect receipts accounted for almost 25 percent of the Philippines’ gross domestic product, the biggest in Asia. INQ
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