Palace spokesman Harry Roque said residents under the general community quarantine (GCQ) might no longer receive any financial assistance in the second tranche of the social amelioration program.

In a radio interview over DZRB Radyo Pilipinas on Friday, Roque said, “Sa ngayon po wala, bagama’t hinahanapan ng pondo (None at the moment although we are looking for funds).”

He explained that under the first tranche of cash aid, Congress approved P205 billion for some 18 million beneficiaries, a figure based on the 2015 census.

With a lot of people complaining of not receiving the aid, the president approved funds for an additional five million families, for a total to 23 million beneficiaries under the first wave, but only to residents of areas under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) where most business activities are shut down.

“Kaya nga po ngayon ang pupuwede lang mabigyan doon sa budget na binigay ng Kongreso ay iyong mga nasa ECQ area ng pangalawang buwan (That’s why now, those who can only be given aid from the budget approved by Congress are those under the ECQ areas for the second month).”

He however said the President had directed Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado, to look for funds from line agencies and even seek help from Congress to be able to give the second tranche to all 23 million beneficiaries.

“Iyong natitira pong pondo sa 205 (P205 billion budget) ay sapat lang po iyan para magbigay ng second tranche ayuda sa mga nakatira sa ECQ…sa pangalawang buwan ng Mayo (The balance of the P205-billion budget is just enough to give the second tranche for those who are under ECQ).” (Jojo Mangahis)