LGUs urged: Focus on food, not infra projects, in COVID-19 fight

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 30 2020 10:34 AM

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MANILA - The Department of the Interior and Local Government on Monday urged local governments to prioritize funding aid to families instead of setting aside money for infrastructure projects.

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said local governments may use their development and calamity funds to help their constituents.

"Unahin muna ang pag-address dito sa COVID-19 crisis. 'Yung infrastructure pwedeng saka na 'yan eh. Di muna natin kailangan ng kalsada. Ang kailangan natin mapakain 'yung mga tao at siguraduhing hindi mag-spread ang virus," he told radio DZMM.

"First quarter pa lang naman tayo, marami pang pera ang ating local government units. This is the immediate, clear and present danger. Pag naubos na 'yung pera nila atsaka sila humingi sa national. Marami tayong pera sa national."

Año, meantime, said the national government supports the declaration of enhanced community quarantine in areas outside Luzon as long as it adheres to the guidelines of the inter-agency task force on emerging infectious diseases.

"Dapat free flowing ang ating food chain and food supply," he said. "Dapat ang cargoes, health worker, personnel in food production and supplies, dapat hindi i-restrict ang movement niyan."

Local officials who do not comply with the guidelines may face investigation and immediate preventive suspension for 60 days, Año said.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier warned local governments to abide by guidelines set by the national government after reports of inconsistent policies implemented in different communities reached the Palace.