The city government has allocated around PHP3.4 billion to fund various initiatives to contain and mitigate the impact of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
Riza Paches, a member of the local government’s planning team, said Tuesday the funding requirement was based on the identified priority programs and projects under the city’s Covid-19 preparation, response and recovery plan.
She said the plan mainly established the short, medium and long-term needs of the city to effectively address the crisis based on the projected risks and its capacity.
The plan, which was formulated through assistance from the United States Agency for International Development’s Strengthening Urban Resilience for Growth with Equity or Surge project, was based on a comprehensive risk-based assessment on the Covid-19 situation in the area, she said.
Paches cited the risks in terms of the epidemiological, economic, environmental, institutional, safety and social aspects.
“We assessed these risks and came up with strategies based on our health capacity and the prevailing standards,” she said in a presentation to the city council.
Paches said they identified at least nine areas of interventions in line with the operationalization of the plan.
These are infrastructure, hardware (equipment), supplies and materials, financial and cash assistance, training and capability building, systems or software, personnel, vehicle and policy, she said.
Of the PHP3.4-billion fund requirement, around PHP1.16 billion was set for the infrastructure component, which includes the development of more isolation and treatment facilities for Covid-19.
“Based on our medium-term needs, the focus is really on infrastructure because that’s where we are lacking at the moment,” she said.
Paches said substantial allocation was set aside in the plan for the financial assistance to the affected sectors in the local economy.
She said around PHP147 million was earmarked by the city’s economic cluster to assist micro, small and medium enterprises, farmers, fisherfolk, transport cooperatives and other key sectors recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We already included this in our Annual Investment Program to facilitate their inclusion in our proposed budget for next year,” she added. (PNA)