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DBM releases P6.197B to provincial gov’ts for COVID-19 response, relief

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said Tuesday it has released P6.197 billion to provincial governments to cover funding requirements for response and relief efforts during the COVID-19 crisis.

In a statement, the DBM said the released amount is equivalent to one half of the one-month fiscal year 2020 Internal Revenue Allotment share of 81 provinces nationwide.

Under the Local Budget Circular No. 126, dated April 13, the “Bayanihan Grant to Provinces” (BGP) shall be exclusively used for the following purposes, subject to existing procurement, budgeting, accounting and auditing rules and regulations:

  • Augmentation of the funding requirements for the operation of provincial, district, and other local hospitals operated by the provincial government, for COVID-19-related expenses.
  • Operation and maintenance of duly established provincial checkpoints related to COVID-19, such as provision of foods, medicines/vitamins, personal protective equipment, and disinfecting supplies for the exclusive use of provincial government employees and personnel concerned, including those hired under contract of service and job order schemes.

Augmentation of funding shall be used for the following:

  • Procurement of personal protective equipment
  • Procurement of equipment, reagents, and kits for COVID-19 testing
  • Procurement of medicines and vitamins
  • Procurement of hospital equipment and supplies
  • Procurement of disinfectants, sprayers, and other disinfecting supplies and misting equipment
  • Food, transportation (including fuel), and accommodation expenses of medical/health workers and other personnel of the provincial, district, and other local hospitals operated by the provincial government
  • Expenses for the construction/repair/lease/rental of additional space/building to accommodate COVID-19 patients and persons under monitoring/investigation
  • Expenses for training of medical/health personnel of the provincial, district, and other local hospitals operated by the provincial government relative to the conduct of COVID-19 testing and other related trainings
  • Other necessary COVID-19-related P/A/Ps and expenses of the provincial, district, and other local hospitals operated by the provincial government

“The one-time BGP is intended to support the ongoing efforts of the Government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the DBM said.

“The use of the BGP for the specified purpose shall augment, and not duplicate, the funds allocated for National Government agencies like the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines, among other,” it said.

Meanwhile, the following expenses shall not be charged against the BGP:

  • Personal services expenditures, such as salaries, wages, overtime pay, and other personnel benefits, including Hazard Pay and Special Risk Allowance
  • Administrative expenses, such as office supplies, meetings, communication, water and electricity, petroleum products, other general services, and the like
  • Traveling expenses, whether domestic or foreign
  • Registration or participation fees in training, seminars, conferences or conventions
  • Purchase of administrative office' furniture, fixtures, equipment or appliances
  • Purchase, maintenance, or repair of motor vehicles, including ambulance
  • Other proposed activities and projects and expenses not related to COVID-19

“The released amount for BGP shall be used by the recipient provinces for the duration of the State of Calamity as declared by the President by virtue of Proclamation No. 929 dated 16 March 2020,” the DBM said.

“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,” it said. — Ted Cordero/BM, GMA News