By Jimmyley Guzman
QUEZON CITY — The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) today asked the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate the spread of fake news and misinformation that those who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 shall not be given “ayuda” or cash aid, and/or benefits.
MMDA Chairperson Benhur Abalos said news circulating regarding the distribution of ayuda at the National Capital Region particularly reports that only those who have been vaccinated shall be entitled to ayuda are “fake and baseless.”
“To set the record straight, the distribution of ayuda and/or benefits or privileges is not anchored on whether an individual has been inoculated or not,” said Atty. Abalos.
Abalos, in a letter sent to NBI Officer-in-Charge Eric Distor, asked the NBI to probe who the sources of fake news are and hold the purveyors accountable.
“I am requesting your Bureau to initiate the investigation of the said fake news in order for those persons responsible therefore to be held accountable in causing unruliness at the vaccination sites and thereafter to file the necessary charges against them,” said Abalos, in his letter.
Abalos also clarified that the ayuda or cash aid from the government amounting to P1,000 to P4,000 will be given to low-income residents – regardless if they are vaccinated or not.
Meanwhile, he reiterated the commitment of the 17 local government units in Metro Manila to administer 250,000 jabs daily during the two-week ECQ period as the national government approved NCR’s request for four million vaccines to achieve population protection the soonest time possible.
To date, there are more than 10 million total doses administered in the entire metropolis and with the four million vaccine allocation in the NCR during ECQ, 12.6 at least 45% of the NCR population will be inoculated after the lockdown.
“All the local chief executives in Metro Manila are resolved to ramp up the vaccination program. We assure the public that the supply of vaccines is secured.”
The spread of fake news alarmed the public and crowded the vaccination sites in Manila, Las Pinas, and Masinag in Antipolo. “Everything was in order until the proliferation of these fake news. These misinformation would affect not only the vaccination process and target, but would cause harm to peoples’ lives,” Abalos emphasized.
The MMDA Chairman advised the public against the spread of such fake news that only causes disorder to the program.
“Do not believe in fake news. Let us wait for your vaccination schedule. Local chief executives of Metro Manila are on top of the situation, ensuring that queues are orderly,” he said.
He also warned the purveyors of fake news that the Department of Interior and Local Government and the Philippine National Police are on top of the situation. Philippine Information Agency