MANILA - Local government units can now use 20 percent of their development funds to help in their coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) response, a government official announced Saturday.
Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said DILG Sec. Eduardo Año and Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado signed the Joint Memorandum Circular No. 1 or "Expanding the utilization of the 20 percent of the Annual Internal Revenue Allotment for Development Projects."
The entire Luzon has been placed under an enhanced community lockdown until April 12. Many local chief executives fear their quick response funds will be depleted by the third week of the lockdown.
"Marami kasing mayor ang kinabahan na ngayon kasi baka maubos na ang kanilang quick response funds. Sabi nila sa amin sa DILG mahihirapan na kami. Kakapusin na kami sa pondo," Malaya said.
Aside from the assistance provided to LGUs by the national government, they may now use their development fund to buy
personal protective equipment, COVID testing kits, medicines, hospital equipment and food assistance to affected families.
He said the circular will be posted on the DILG's social media account.
"Para makuha ang impormasyon at makapagpasa ng ordinansa para magkaroon kayo ng supplemental budget and realigning the budget of your locality para po magamit ang development fund," he said.
"Hindi puwedeng gamitin ang 20 percent development fund para bumili ng furniture, fixture [s], equipment, motor vehicles meron din pong limitations. Pero kung gagamitin po ninyo ang 20 percent development fund para pambili ng food assistance para sa inyong constituents puwedeng-puwede po."