NGOs, POs lose P10M assistance in ‘13-A A +A
Saturday, February 22, 2014
NONGOVERNMENT organizations (NGOs) and people’s organizations (POs) in Cebu City will not be able to get their 2013 financial assistance from the City Government.
The assistance to NGOs and POs amounting to P10 million was charged to the P227-million Local Development Fund (LDF) last year but the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) no longer allows this, said City Budget Officer Marietta Gumia.
But Gumia assured that qualified groups will get their assistance this year because City Hall included P10 million for the purpose in the P5.89-billion 2014 annual budget.
The amount will be taken from the general fund.
She said new guidelines under the joint Memorandum Circular 2011-1 of the DBM and the Department of Interior and Local Government provides that the LDF should only be used for social, economic and environmental projects.
The LDF is 20 percent of Cebu City's Internal Revenue Allotment and is one of the funding sources of the P5.19-billion annual budget.
The LDF can be used for the construction and rehabilitation of health centers, government-owned potable water system, evacuation centers and multi-purpose halls.
It can also fund the rehabilitation of cultural and historical sites; purchase calamity alarm or warning systems; obtain and develop relocation sites; and finance the installation and maintenance of street lighting system.
Economic projects include the construction and rehabilitation of communal irrigation or water impounding system and local roads and bridges; purchase of equipment; and implementation of livelihood projects.
Environmental projects include reforestation and urban greening; construction and rehabilitation of sanitary landfills and material recovery facilities; and implementation of flood control projects and other projects to promote air and water quality.
“Under the new guidelines, the giving of financial assistance to NGOs and POs are no longer covered. The P10 million will serve as surplus under the LDF. But we can still use it or re-budget it to fund other projects,” Gumia said yesterday.
Gumia could not say how many NGOs, POs and which projects will be affected by the new guidelines.
Councilor Sisinio Andales, whose office handles the accreditation of NGOs and POs, said among those who have been receiving financial assistance from the City are the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc., the Cebu Chamber of Commerce, the Boy Scout of the Philippines, Girl Scout of the Philippines and the Emergency Rescue Unit Foundation.
Last year, Andales said, more than 20 NGOs and POs qualified to receive cash aid from City Hall of at least P500,000 each.
Andales said the assistance are used to conduct feeding programs in depressed areas of the city or give school supplies to public schools, among others.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 22, 2014.