To my compatriots living in Phnom Penh and Kandal Province and the Takhmao City of Kandal Province, I have indeed announced the policy to support those who have died due to Covid-19, those who are Covid-19 positive, and those in quarantine. But after a lockdown in a small place, we instead had to lock down the whole capital plus one city of Kandal province, so we find the supply of 300,000 Riels to each family (in quarantine) impossible. Our compatriots, please be tolerant and understand that what is needed now is to survive. Therefore, I decided to change to supply survival materials such as rice, canned fish, noodles, fish sauce, soy sauce, and everything else possible.
Today, some people posted on Facebook as well as protesting with the aid distributors. I beg you to understand and tolerate the hardships of the government, which can no longer provide 300,000 Riels per person/family. Still, We try our best not to let you starve by supplying rice, noodles, canned fish, fish sauce and/or soy sauce instead. Please understand that 300,000 Riel is not significant for you. Still, it is big for The Royal Government, which we need to supply throughout Phnom Penh because it is subject to the same quarantine measures and restrictions. If you refuse to accept those, we have no choice but to only distribute to those who accept it.
I have received information that some of you have refused to accept the aid, and if you do, I would like to ask the distributors to withdraw from the area and distribute it to the people in other areas who need it. We cannot explain to people in areas where they do not accept the explanation. Still, I would like to assure the people that if we only provide supports of 10,000 or 20,000 riels per family, it is not a big deal, but we now have tens of thousands of families (in quarantine), and if you still demand, the state find it difficult to solve, how to solve it? The mechanism of settlement is also limited in our time.
We have distributed the aids today to about 10,000 families, and tomorrow there will be about 10,000 more families, and the day after tomorrow, there will be about 20,000 families. We continue to distribute only food to sustain the living. I beg those who said they had not received the 300,000 riels; It was me who have ordered the suspension. Moreover, the (state’s support of paying for) water and electricity bills has also been revised by the Ministry of Economic and Finance. Please be patient and tolerant of our common difficulties, … we do have money but we do not know how or what is the suitable mechanism to share?
Therefore, I would like to inform you that this 300,000 Riel can only be applied in the area of scattered quarantine. It cannot be done in lockdown areas such as Phnom Penh and Kandal. We can only do so where there are only a few people per district in quarantine, but not all over the capital city of millions. Please understand and stop demanding that 300,000 riels.
On the other hand, I would also like to take this opportunity to ask His/Her Excellency Governors of Phnom Penh, Kandal Province, and other capitals/provinces to pay attention to the monks. During the lockdown, there are no offerings from people, so our monks will also be starving. They also cannot go out in places that are in lockdown most importantly in Phnom Penh and Takhmao. Besides Phnom Penh and Kandal, other provinces need to pay attention to all monasteries where there are monks, and students staying for education as well.