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COVID-19 WATCH

Go recommends one-time LGU grant

TDT

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LGUs may receive a one-time grant equivalent to one month of their internal revenue allotment to help in their fight against Covid-19. In this photo, the City of Manila repacks relief goods for Baseco residents in Tondo, Manila. (Manila PIO)

Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go appealed to the Executive Department on Thursday to grant a one-time “Bayanihan” financial assistance to cities and municipalities to help them respond to the needs of their constituents while the country is addressing the COVID-19 health emergency and the socioeconomic impact that comes with it.

Go also explained that while the national government is in charge, LGUs must take responsibility as well in addressing the needs of their constituents. He commended LGUs for their efforts in maintaining order in their areas and in responding to the immediate needs of the people.

“Tulungan dapat ang mga local government units na maalagaan ang mga komunidad nila sa panahong ito. Malaking tulong kung mabigyan sila ng dagdag na pondo para mapunan ang lumalaking pangangailangan ng mga tao ngayon,” Go explained.

“Salamat sa mga LGUs, governors, vice governors, mayors, vice mayors, barangay officials na nag-aasikaso sa kanilang mga constituents… Now, more than ever, we, as elected officials, must do everything we can to be of service to the people,” he added.

The one-time grant will be equivalent to one month of their respective internal revenue allotments (IRA).

“Sa laki ng problemang kinakaharap natin, baka kukulangin ang kasalukuyang pondo ng ating mga LGU. Hindi naman po lahat ng LGUs ay pantay-pantay pagdating sa pondo. Kailangan rin nila ng tulong mula sa national government,” Go explained.

The senator cited salient provisions of Republic Act No. 11469 or the “Bayanihan to Heal as One Act” as bases for his proposal.

“Isinulong natin ang batas na ito upang maging madali sa gobyerno na i-reprogram, i-reallocate, at i-realign ang mga pondo basta ba gagamitin ito para maprotektahan ang mga Pilipino laban sa banta ng COVID-19,” he said.

The senator emphasized that the law has already given the necessary authority and flexibility to the government to utilize the funds as deemed necessary to address the growing threats of COVID-19.

As a member of the Joint Oversight Committee of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, Go said he will make sure that available funds are used properly and are maximized to provide assistance.

“Sisiguraduhin ko na nagagamit ng tama ang pondo at pupukpukin ko ang mga ahensya na aksyunan agad ang pangangailangan ng mga Pilipinong apektado ngayon,” Go said.

However, Go reminded LGUs to make sure that the assistance reaches those who need Politics should not be a factor in providing such assistance.

“Pakiusap ko lang, huwag na pong haluan ng pulitika ang pagtulong. Hindi po iyan nakakatulong sa sitwasyon natin ngayon. Huwag na natin pahirapan pa ang mga tao, tumulong nalang tayo na pabilisin ang pagbigay ng tulong sa kanila,” Go said.

“Wala naman po kasing dapat pinipiling oras o kulay ang pagtulong sa kapwa kaya siguraduhin nalang po natin na makarating ito sa pinaka-mahihirap at pinaka-nangangailangan.”

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