By Deighton Acuin

PHOTO: One News

Malacañang on Monday said there will be no cash aid distribution to affected families and businesses in areas under General Community Quarantine bubble effective March 22, 2021 until April 4, 2021 since people were not restricted to go to work.

During the online Palace briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque pointed out the government has been supporting Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) amid the COVID-19 pandemic by means of loans while the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has been helping jobless workers during lockdown.

“In terms of ayuda na gaya ng binigay natin sa ECQ (enhanced community quarantine), dahil hindi naman natin pinipigilan magtrabaho ang ating mga kababayan ay hindi na tayo dapat magbigay ng ganoong ayuda dahil pwede maghanap buhay ang lahat,” Roque said.

“Ang ginagawa natin ngayon ay hindi natin sinasarado ang industriya para makapagtuloy na magtrabaho ‘yung mayroon pang mga trabaho,” Roque added.

The local governments, meanwhile, are distributing cash aid as well as food packages to families affected by granular lockdowns.

The Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has placed Metro Manila, Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite, and Laguna under general community quarantine (GCQ) from March 22 to April 4.

Through the directive, non-essential travel to and from the “GCQ bubble” would be restricted.

The government has likewise suspended the operation of the following businesses in the above-stated GCQ areas until April 4:

- driving schools
- traditional cinemas
- videos and interactive game arcades
- libraries
- archives
- museums and cultural events
- limited social events
- DOT-accredited establishments, except open-air tourist attractions
- Mass gatherings, including those for religious purposes, will also be prohibited within the GCQ bubble.

Dining in enclosed spaces is also banned, while outdoor dining will be allowed. Further, the government discourages people from doing face-to-face meetings as it pushes for telecommuting and virtual meetings, and take-out and delivery of food items.

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