DEPUTY Speaker and Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez has asked President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte to extend financial assistance amounting to P6,000 to his constituents.
In a letter to the Chief Executive dated July 16, Rodriguez said the inter-agency task force (IATF) on pandemic response has placed Cagayan de Oro under the strictest enhance community quarantine (ECQ).
This is because of the 11 cases of the highly transmissible COVID-19 Delta variant cases, five were detected in Cagayan de Oro and one in Misamis Oriental, which his city is part of, he said.
“Now under ECQ, people are required to stay home, will not be able to work and they will not have income to purchase food and other basic necessities for their families for the next two weeks from July 16 to July 31,” he said.
“In view of the same, may I request for cash assistance pf P6,000 for each family in Cagayan de Oro since it is already under ECQ,” Rodriguez added in his letter to the President.
He pointed out that while the Bayanihan to Heal as One Law or Republic Act No. 11469 mandated financial aid of P6,000 to P8,000 for poor households for 2 months in 2 tranches in the entire Philippines, low-income families in Cagayan de Oro “received only the first tranch of P6,000 because the city was not declared under ECQ but only under GCQ (general community quarantine).”
The House leader sent a similar letter to Secretary Rolando Joselito Bautista of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, which administers the cash assistance funds for areas where ECQ is enforced.
In a separate letter to Secretary Francisco Duque lll of the Department of Health (DOH), who chairs the IATF, Rodriguez asked him to “immediately send a team of medical experts on the Covid-19 Delta variant to Cagayan de Oro City to assist the city in implementing the proper steps to prevent the outbreak of the Delta variant.”
He also requested that “more vaccines be re-directed and immediately sent to Cagayan de Oro, which is now the battleground of this Delta variant to protect our city residents.”
“It is in working together and acting with caution that we will be able to successfully defeat the Covid-19 pandemic specially this Delta variant”, he stressed.
The House leader expressed alarm over the spike in Covid-19 cases in his city, noting that more than half of the 11 Delta variant carriers detected yesterday were found in Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental.
He called on the DOH and local authorities to strengthen border and pandemic control measures and enforcement of basic health protocols.
“My constituents are wondering where the Delta variant carriers came from, why they were not detected at the airports, seaports or places of origin,” he said.