The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has released PHP30.82 billion to cover the one-time financial assistance to cities and municipalities in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
In a statement on Monday, the DBM said the released amount, which is in line with President Duterte’s approval of the “Bayanihan Grant to Cities and Municipalities (BGCM)”, aims to boost the capacity of the cities and municipalities in responding to the Covid-19 situation.
The one-time BGCM is equivalent to the one-month fiscal year 2020 Internal Revenue Allotment share of the cities and municipalities.
As provided in Local Budget Circular No. 125 dated April 7, 2020, the BGCM shall be exclusively used for Covid-19-related programs, projects, activities (PPAs), and expenses, subject to existing procurement, budgeting, accounting, and auditing rules and regulations.
These include procurement of personal protective equipment; equipment, reagents, and kits for Covid-19 testing; medicines and vitamins; hospital equipment and supplies; disinfectants, sprayers, disinfection tents, and other disinfecting supplies and misting equipment; food, transportation including fuel, and accommodation expenses of medical personnel and other local government unit personnel directly involved in the implementation of Covid-19-related PPAs; and food assistance and other relief goods for affected households.
Expenses for the construction/repair/lease/rental of additional space/building to accommodate Covid-19 patients and persons under monitoring/investigation; those for the operation of stand-alone/mobile testing laboratory; purchase/rental of tents for temporary shelters of the homeless; training of personnel in the conduct of Covid-19 testing and other related training; and other necessary Covid-19-related PPAs and expenses are also covered.
On the other hand, expenses that shall not be charged against the BGCM include any form of financial/cash assistance; personal services expenditures, such as salaries, wages, overtime pay and other personnel benefits; administrative expenses, such as 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; and other PPAs and expenses not related to Covid-19 shall not be likewise charged against the BGCM.
The released amount for BGCM shall be used by the recipient cities and municipalities for the duration of the state of calamity as declared by the President under Proclamation 929 dated 16 March 2020.
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.