DILG urges governors to use P 6.2-B Bayanihan grant for COVID crisis | Inquirer News

DILG urges governors to use P 6.2-B Bayanihan grant for COVID crisis

MANILA, Philippines — Interior Secretary Eduardo Año on Sunday urged all governors to take advantage of the P6.197-billion Bayanihan grant for the provinces in enforcing the national action plan against the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to address the needs of their constituents.

“Time is of the essence in this time of crisis. I urge the governors to utilize the Bayanihan grant in a quick and efficient way and at the same time, be transparent and accountable in its use to address the COVID-19 crisis in their respective localities,” Año said.

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He said the 81 provinces nationwide must lead efforts in the contact tracing of confirmed COVID-19 cases, the isolation and treatment of suspected and confirmed cases, and their reintegration after recovery.

“This is a onetime financial assistance to provinces. Let’s do our part in the immediate and proper use of this to save and protect lives,” he said.

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Not duplicate funds

Año said the use of the Bayanihan grant to provinces in supporting COVID-19 efforts should augment and not duplicate funds allocated for national government agencies including the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

“The DILG (Department of the Interior and Local Government) reminds the provincial LGUs (local government units) that the released amount for Bayanihan grant to provinces shall be used for the duration of this state of calamity. Funds which remain unutilized after the lifting of the state of calamity shall be reverted to the national treasury by the recipient cities and municipalities,” he said.

Purchase of PPEs

DILG spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said the Bayanihan grant to provinces should be used for provincial and district hospitals and other local medical facilities under provincial control, particularly in procuring personal protective equipment (PPE), reagents, COVID-19 testing kits, medicine and vitamins, disinfectants, as well as other medical equipment and supplies.

The grant may also be used for food, transportation and accommodation of health workers and other essential hospital staff as well as the construction of facilities for COVID-19 patients.

The labor department, for its part, is eyeing the possibility of resuming its cash assistance to formal sector workers with fresh moves in Congress calling for the augmentation of funds for the agency’s emergency subsidy program.

“We are hopeful that some positive developments are coming along the way for our displaced workers,” Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said in a statement on Sunday.

Last week, the Department of Labor and Employment announced that it already stopped accepting requests for assistance under the COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) after having been swamped with volumes of applications, quickly depleting its measly P1.6-billion fund for the program.

But Bello cited the efforts by lawmakers to pump additional funding to the CAMP that provides a P5,000 onetime assistance to displaced workers.

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

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TAGS: Bayanihan Grant, coronavirus pandemic, coronavirus Philippines, COVID-19, Eduardo Año
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