Only 1% of Bayanihan grant to LGUs liquidated
In his ninth report to Congress on the government’s response to the pandemic, President Duterte said the amount of Bayanihan grant liquidated during the period totaled P397 million.
PPD/Ace Morandante, File

Only 1% of Bayanihan grant to LGUs liquidated

Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - May 27, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Only about one percent of financial aid given to local government units (LGUs) to boost their capabilities to respond to the coronavirus pandemic has been liquidated as of May 21, President Duterte said.

In his ninth report to Congress on the government’s response to the pandemic, Duterte said the amount of Bayanihan grant liquidated during the period totaled P397 million. 

The budget department has released P30.82 billion to cover the funding requirements for the one-time financial assistance to cities and municipalities.

“As of 21 May 2020, fund utilization reports from 19 LGUs (15 municipalities and four cities) liquidated P397.065 million worth of funds under the said grant,” Duterte said in the report.

“The above breakdown represents 1.07 percent of total Bayanihan grants released to provinces, cities and municipalities,” he added.

The bulk of the liquidated amount or 59.68 percent went to food assistance and other relief goods for affected households while 21.7 percent was used for buying hospital equipment and supplies.

“The DBM (Department of Budget and Management) has mobilized its regional offices to ensure submission of the required fund utilization reports to generate reliable data that may be used for forward planning during the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic,” the President said.

A breakdown of the expenses of the Bayanihan grant to LGUs showed that P236.95 million was used for food aid and other relief goods while P86.18 million was spent for hospital equipment.

About P19.21 million was used for food, transportation and accommodation expenses while P15.42 million was spent for personal protective equipment. Some P12.62 million was spent for other necessary COVID-19 programs, activities and projects while P12.54 million was used to buy medicines and vitamins.

Local governments that submitted liquidation reports spent P5.16 million for construction, repair, lease and rental of additional spaces and buildings to accommodate COVID-19 patients and persons under monitoring or investigation and about P3.19 million to buy disinfectants, sprayers, disinfection tents and other disinfection supplies.

Roughly P2.62 million was used to buy or rent tents and spaces for temporary shelters for the homeless while P1.6 million went to equipment, reagents and kits for COVID-19 testing.

Local governments spent P1.295 million for the operation of stand-alone and mobile testing laboratory and P275,000 for training of personnel tasked to conduct COVID-19 tests.

Under Local Budget Circular No. 125 dated April 7, 2020, the fund shall be subject to existing procurement, budgeting, accounting and auditing rules and regulations. Janvic Mateo, Emmanuel Tupas

BAYANIHAN RODRIGO DUTERTE
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