Puerto Princesa City councilors during their regular session.|| File photo

The City government is eyeing to provide a one-time cash assistance of P2,000 to families affected by the 2-week hard lockdown in five urban barangays that have seen a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases.

City administrator Arnel Pedrosa said they are expecting the City Council to pass a local ordinance that will allow them to appropriate budget for the financial assistance.

“Susubukan talaga nila na i-fast track from first to final reading, sana by the end of next week mayroon nang ordinance. Kasi kailangan talaga na i-ordinance ‘yon. May pera pa naman ang City Budget Office, ‘yon nga lang kailangan pa ito i-final reading,” Atty. Pedrosa said.

Pedrosa explained that once approved, there will be a screening for qualified beneficiaries, which will be coursed through key agencies such as the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). He said they will be using the model that was used to determine beneficiaries of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) in 2020, during the beginning of the pandemic.

“Ang napag-usapan nasa P2,000 per qualified household ang ibibigay. Pero siyempre, may screening pa rin ‘yon. Sana ay mai-distribute din agad kasi wala rin purpose ang ayuda kung delayed,” he added.

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During the localized lockdown of barangays San Manuel, San Pedro, Sta. Monica, San Jose, and San Miguel, some businesses will be required to employ a skeleton workforce. Food establishments in the area will need to cease dining operations and only offer take-out or delivery services. The lockdown will be in place until April 30, unless the city government issues an extension.

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is a senior reporter for Palawan News who covers politics, education, environment, tourism, and human interest stories. She loves watching Netflix, reading literary fiction, and listens to serial fiction podcasts. Her favorite color is blue.