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P28-B Local Gov't Support Fund should be tapped to fight COVID-19, solon says

Quezon City Representative Alfred Vargas on Wednesday urged the national government to allow affected local government units to use the P28-billion Local Government Support Fund (LSGF) under the 2020 national budget to boost their efforts against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

According to Vargas, the LSGF is set aside in the 2020 General Appropriations Act to ensure the funding for the delivery of “development programs and projects of LGUs only when said programs and projects cannot be accommodated by any available LGU funds.”

Citing a circular by the Department of Budget and Management, he added that the LGSF will be used exclusively  by the provinces, cities, municipalities, and barangays to fund the eligible projects and programs.

“COVID-19 might have caught us by surprise but the government has made sure that we have sufficient funding to protect our citizens from the virus. LGSF can be a viable option to support the immediate needs of our LGUs,” Vargas said.

Currently, there are 28 cities and provinces that have confirmed cases of COVID-19, Vargas said, citing the mapping by the Department of Health.

Most of the COVID-19 patients are residing the Metro Manila, while others are in parts of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

“These areas are now having a hard time with regard to augmenting food, medicine, sanitation needs - as well as  protective health gear for their constituents  - due to limited mobility caused by the enhanced community quarantine currently being enforced,” Vargas said.

"We have to equip our LGUs with proper funding that they can use to help their affected kababayans and to set measures in place that could halt the spread of the virus. While LGSF is primarily meant for the Build, Build, Build Program, I hope that this option will be looked into, as I believe that one of the greatest investments we can make is in the health and safety of our own people,” he added. —LDF, GMA News