The Executive Branch has responded positively to Senator Christopher “Bong” Go’s earlier recommendation for the grant of a one-time “Bayanihan” financial assistance to provincial local government units, equivalent to half of their respective one-month Internal Revenue Allotment.
A formal announcement and details of such assistance will be made by the appropriate agency soon.
“Tama lang na tulungan natin ang mga probinsya kahit sa pinaka-malalayong mga lugar. Ang pondong ito ay magagamit para ma-equip ang kanilang mga ospital, madagdagan ang kanilang quarantine and health facilities, at higit sa lahat, mabigyan sila ng dagdag na kapasidad na rumesponde sa mga pangangailangan ng kanilang mga nasasakupan,” Go said.
The Senator said that even if this additional funding is just a one-time grant, it will further enable PLGUs to respond more effectively to the increasing needs of their constituents and provide support to the national government in implementing measures to overcome the COVID-19 crisis.
He emphasized earlier that PLGUs ensure the readiness of provincial hospitals to handle the COVID-19 health emergency since they are in charge of funding, sustaining and enhancing the operations of these local health facilities.
“Marami sa mga patients natin ay sa provincial hospitals po unang dinadala. It is the PLGUs that pay for the operations of these hospitals,” he explained.
But aside from funding provincial hospitals, Go, together with various local officials, earlier noted that PLGUs also ensure the successful implementation of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) measure, provide food assistance covering all municipalities and component cities within their jurisdiction and on top of that, also provide financial support, shelter or quarantine quarters for stranded non-residents as well.
As a member of the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee overseeing the implementation of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, Go reminded PLGUs to uphold transparency and accountability at all times. He added that the funds should be utilized exclusively for its intended purpose in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and as determined by the national government.
“Gamitin sa tama pangtulong sa mga tao. Importante na malampasan natin ito ng sama-sama, walang pulitika, walang masasayang, at walang pinipili ang tinutulungan,” he said.
This comes after Go’s recommendation to release a one-time ‘Bayanihan’ financial assistance to cities and municipalities was also approved. The grant amounts to each city's or municipality’s one-month Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA).
“Magbayanihan tayo. Dapat magtulungan ang LGUs at national government agencies, pati na rin ang private sector, para matapalan kung ano man ang kulang sa mga kailangan ng taumbayan,” Go emphasized.