The city government has allocated an additional PHP102 million as buffer fund for its continuing efforts to address the threats posed by the 2019 coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
City Mayor Ronnel Rivera said Monday the funds will be utilized for possible contingency purchases in line with the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine and other Covid-19 response initiatives.
Rivera specifically cited the need for additional food supplies for residents affected by the quarantine, and support for medical front-liners and first responders, especially the provision of personal protective equipment (PPE) suits.
The funding — part of the supplemental budget approved last week by the City Council — will be used to augment the other needs of the designated Covid-19 isolation facilities at the city hospital and the regional evacuation center in Barangay Buayan.
“We don’t have any problem right now in terms of funds as we still have enough from our budget for calamity and we’re continually negotiating with some suppliers to address the needs of our constituents,” Rivera said in an interview with reporters.
The mayor said they are currently consolidating the available food resources in the city, especially rice, canned goods and other food items.
The mayor acknowledged that the supplies of some food items might be affected later on by the continuing lockdown in Luzon and other areas in the country.
The local government released an initial PHP37 million for Covid-19 response after placing the city under the state of calamity on February 10.
Rivera said around PHP10 million has been spent for the purchase of PPE for front-liners, PHP5 million for food packs, PHP5 million for the food and other materials needed by the front-liners and PHP3.1 million for rice stocks from the National Food Authority.
“The rest of the funds are for the procurement of other things incidental as we continue with our response operations. A more detailed report will be available once we liquidate the funds,” he said.
The entire city was placed under enhanced community quarantine starting last March 22 to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in the area. A total lockdown was implemented every Sunday and segregated its 26 barangays into 12 clusters to further restrict the movement of residents.
Capt. Renato Dungca, spokesperson of the city police office, said the implementation of the first day-long total lockdown on Sunday was considered successful as it rendered the city’s streets almost empty.
Dungca said the city’s eight police stations also reported zero crime incidents in the entire day. (PNA)