The City of Bacolod is expected to receive PHP119 million in financial assistance from the national government through the “Bayanihan Grant to Cities and Municipalities”.
Under the program, local government units (LGUs) will be given an amount equivalent to a one-month Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) share to boost their capacity to respond to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) crisis.
Mayor Evelio Leonardia, who is the national president of the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP), said on Tuesday the assistance will go a long way in the LGUs’ fight against Covid-19.
“I would like to thank President Rodrigo Duterte. He approved it on Monday,” the mayor said.
In a memorandum dated April 6, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea informed Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado that the President has already approved the proposed grant of financial aid to the LGUs.
Leonardia, acknowledged the assistance of Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, who first told him of his proposal to the President to grant a one-time “Bayanihan” aid to the LGUs.
He added that Avisado also personally informed him about the approval of the assistance.
The additional funds for the LGUs will come from PHP30.824 billion worth of infrastructure projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways for 2020 that will be discontinued.
Leonardia said that Go told him that the funds should be used exclusively for projects, programs, and activities concerning the Covid-19 pandemic.
These include procurement of personal protective equipment for front line service providers; medicines and vitamins; hospital equipment and supplies; disinfectants and related equipment; relief goods for low-income and vulnerable households; and tents for temporary shelter of the homeless, among others.
Meanwhile, the City of Bacolod is also scheduled to receive PHP1.2-billion in social amelioration subsidy for low-income families.
Some 103,658 families will share the PHP1.2 billion from the Emergency Subsidy Program of the national government under the guidelines of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
The number excludes beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) who already have their own separate funding assistance, and families covered by social amelioration packages of the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Labor and Employment. (PNA)