SENATOR Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go personally informed Mayor Evelio Leonardia a few days ago of his proposal to President Rodrigo Duterte to grant cities and municipalities one-time “Bayanihan” financial assistance representing their one-month Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) share, to boost the LGUs’ capacity to respond to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) situation.
Before that, Go’s political officer Ian Esta also informed Leonardia of the senator’s recommendation to Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado to release to LGUs the said financial assistance.
For his part, Avisado also personally informed Leonardia of the said assistance after Go announced that the IRA grant is final.
The City of Bacolod is set to receive P119 million in financial assistance from the national government, as part of the “Bayanihan Grant to Cities and Municipalities” approved by President Rodrigo Duterte Monday [April 6].
As national president of the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP), Leonardia thanked the President, Go, and Avisado.
Bacolod’s IRA share from the national government amounts to P119 million per month. The funds will come from P30-billion worth of infrastructure projects of DPWH for 2020 that will be discontinued.
“I would like to thank President Duterte and acknowledge the help of Senator Go and Secretary Avisado. I extended my thanks to him for initiating this assistance that will go a long way in our fight against Covid.”
Go added that the funds should be used exclusively for projects, programs and activities concerning the Covid-19 situation, such as procurement of personal protective equipment for frontline 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.
The senator also clarified to Leonardia that the grant should be on top of other assistance that national government agencies are already providing to LGUs.
Go also explained that while the national government is taking charge in this time of crisis, LGUs must take responsibility as well in addressing the immediate needs of their constituents.
“Now, more than ever, we, as elected officials, must do everything we can to be of service to the people,” Go added. (PR)