CAGAYAN de Oro City Councilor Ma. Lourdes Gaane has clarified that there is a budget allocated to the Local Aids Council as its funds to support the HIV-Aids advocacy of non-government organizations (NGOs) in the city.
Gaane, the vice chairman of the Local Aids Council (LAC) and the chairperson of the committee on health, sanitation and health insurance, said that a total of P2.5 million was allotted last year to the LAC to provide technical support to the NGOs that conduct HIV-Aids (human immunodeficiency virus-acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) advocacy activities.
This was after some reports that Misamis Oriental-Cagayan de Oro Aids Network (Mocan) asked for regular funding from the LAC.
“I just do not know why gigawas to sya (that story emerged). Unfair naman pud na wala gipangayuan og side ang (it was unfair for not getting the side of the) local Aids council nga (that) this is chaired by the chief executive,” Gaane said.
She said that the funding was based in memorandum from the Department of Interior Local Government, adding that in the previous administration, such advocacy projects were not given attention. She also said that when she assumed as chair of the Committee on Health, she claimed to have revived the memo due to the increasing number of HIV cases.
Gaane said there was no existing budget for LAC before, until she lobbied for it, and that the P2.5 million allocated fund expected to be released to non-government organizations.
The councilor added that they used the budget for the two major Aids-related activities: International Aids Candlelight Memorial, which takes place every third Sunday of May, and the World Aids Day every December 1.
She said NGOs can contribute more to the existing P2.5 million budget in order to have a strengthened advocacies. She said that on top of the city’s support, NGOs have its own funding as well.