The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Thursday called on local government units to start the planning and budgeting measures for local recovery and rehabilitation even if the COVID-19 pandemic is not yet over.
In a statement, DILG spokesman Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said the DILG, with technical aid from the World Bank, has developed the “Ready to Recover (We Rise as One) COVID-19 Local Recovery Planning Guide," which aims to help the LGUs prepare and recover from the pandemic.
"We need to recover now kahit ‘di pa tapos ang COVID-19 crisis kasi mas lalala ang epekto nito sa ekonomiya at kabuhayan ng ating mga kababayan," Malaya said.
"The DILG is collaborating with other national government agencies in the Interagency Task Force (IATF) to help LGUs prepare their recovery strategies and programs. The goal is to build back better," he added.
Malaya said as most areas are already classified as low-risk, a huge portion of the country can now start recovery measures on the local level to protect jobs and stimulate economic activity.
"With private consumption and investment still down, it is now up to the national and local governments to drive consumption and investment with government spending and policies that support the growth and recovery of local businesses," Malaya said.
He said the planning guide would simplify recovery and rehabilitation planning to give LGUs flexibility in interventions, adding that it has sample frameworks, templates, and suggested programs, projects, and activities (PPAs) which localities could use.
"It will guide LGUs on the coordination of recovery efforts of national, regional, and local governments including the roles, responsibilities, and institutional structures," Malaya said.
The DILG spokesperson also said the planning and budgeting measures for local recovery can be done through the creation of an economic cluster within the existing local COVID-19 Task Force which will be led by the mayor or governor.
In funding the local recovery, Malaya said the DILG has identified at least ten indicative fund source options based on existing government guidelines that can be utilized by LGUs to help address the challenges of fund availability.
These include national government programs and financing assistance programs of select government financial institutions and government-owned and controlled corporations, Malaya noted. — RSJ, GMA News