Local governments are funding their own projects – DOF
MANILA, Philippines — Local governments have, for the most part, been self-sufficient in funding their COVID-19 response despite the prolonged pandemic, the Department of Finance (DOF) said on Sunday.
Citing a report of its attached agency, the Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF), the DOF said that from April 2020 to mid-2021, local governments spent a total of P118.9 billion to fight the health and socioeconomic crises inflicted by COVID-19.
Niño Raymond Alvina, executive director of BLGF, reported to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III that local governments’ own funds accounted for the bulk of response measures, amounting to P76.4 billion.
“Of this amount, P59 billion was used for [local government]-funded programs, of which 87 percent, or P51.7 billion, was spent on MOOE (maintenance and other operating expenses). There were 587 local governments that provided their own projects to their constituents, with 482, or 82 percent, of which are municipalities, 68 (12 percent) are cities, and 37 (6 percent) are provinces,” Alvina said.
Local COVID-19 response
“In terms of MOOE spent for COVID-19 response sourced from local governments’ own funds, the National Capital Region, Calabarzon (Cavited, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) and Central Luzon had the highest disbursements at P16.1 billion, P6.3 billion and P5.2 billion, respectively,” Alvina added.
The second biggest source of local governments’ financing for COVID-19 response was the Bayanihan grants disbursed by the national government in 2020 under the Bayanihan to Heal as One (Bayanihan 1) Law, amounting to P35.4 billion.
In all, the Department of Budget and Management had released P6.2 billion to the country’s 82 provinces equivalent to one-half month of their internal revenue allotment (IRA), or now called national tax allotment, on top of a bigger P30.8 billion to 146 cities and 1,488 municipalities equivalent to one-month IRA.
The Bayanihan grants to local governments were used to buy personal protective equipment, testing kits, medicines and vitamins, hospital equipment and supplies, food assistance, and relief goods, among other COVID-19-related expenses.
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