Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso on Friday thanked the national government for its continuing support that resulted in the accomplishment of the city’s flagship projects.
“Ako ay muling nagpapasalamat sa national government sa suporta at tulong sa mga LGU (I would like to thank the national government for the support and assistance to the LGU’s). Your trust in the City of Manila made so many great things possible,” Domagoso said in a statement, responding to questions sent by the Philippine News Agency (PNA).
He added that the city’s internal revenue allotment (IRA) from the national government provided funds for financial assistance to workers, indigents, and families, and sustained efforts in combatting and mitigating the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
“Ibig sabihin, lahat ay nakikinabang sa anumang nakolekta ng ating national government (This means that everyone benefits from what is collected by the national government). This is in addition to the earnings that the LGUs get from property taxes and other localized fees,” Domagoso said.
Through the IRA, the LGUs can already allocate budget to various local government projects, he said.
He said the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) program assisted displaced, underemployed, and seasonal workers through emergency employment for a minimum of 10 days to a maximum of 30 days.
Meanwhile, through the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the city government received the Resettlement Governance Assistance Fund which was used for the relocation of those who are homeless or are suddenly displaced.
He also said trust funds from the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) trust fund and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) helped subsidize medical expenses of patients in the city’s district hospitals.
Through these funds, the city government was also able to procure much-needed hospital equipment for pandemic response.
“Aside from these already existing na tulong o funding na ibinibigay ng national government, nadagdagan pa nang magkaroon ng pandemya (assistance or funding given by the national government, more were given when the Covid-19 pandemic hit the country),” Domagoso said.
He said in the early days of the pandemic, it was the national government, through the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Budget and Management. (DBM), that made it possible for Manila to have reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) machines.
They were also provided with personal protective equipment for the city’s health workers as well as swab test kits for the residents of the City of Manila.
The city’s healthcare workers also got the special risk allowance and active hazard duty pay through the DOH.
“The national government’s support for our Covid-19 mass vaccination program continues. We were able to start vaccinating people in March because of the Covid-19 vaccine allocations from the national government,” the mayor said.
Domagoso said the city still receives vaccine allocations from the national government for free even though it has procured its own Covid-19 jabs, with the first shipment arriving in June.
“Iyong Manila Covid-19 Field Hospital naman ay napatayo because of the support of the national government. Walang hospital na madaling naitayo kung hindi tayo pinayagan ng national government, through the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the National Parks Development Committee (NPDC), na gamitin ang Burnham Green (The Manila Covid-19 Field Hospital was built because of the support of the national government. It is not easy building a hospital and if we were not allowed by the national government, through the DOT and the NPDC to use the Burnham Green, we would have not built it),” he said.
The social amelioration program (SAP) given to help individuals and families who unexpectedly lost their source of income due to the pandemic also came from the national government, through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
The LGUs were tasked to distribute cash aid to its residents under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act (Bayanihan 1), and the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan 2).
Families in need, as well as micro and small businesses and their employees, were also given assistance.
The DSWD’s social pension program also provided assistance to indigent senior citizens.
“As for the LGU, we got the Bayanihan Grant to Cities and Municipalities and the Local Government Support Fund-Financial Assistance through the DBM,” Domagoso said.
Domagoso said the city expects that the Duterte administration will maintain the momentum of its ‘Build, Build, Build’ program, which includes landmark infrastructure projects such as roads, railways, bridges, and airports, that will help the country in the task of economic recovery post-pandemic.
“Itong mga proyektong ito ang inaasahang magdudulot ng dagdag na trabaho at kaginhawaan sa mga Pilipino, so I am sure the national government will keep working overtime on these projects. Hindi man matapos agad ang lahat ng ito during the President’s term, the important thing is nasimulan na (These projects are expected to help in creating more jobs for the Filipinos, so I am sure the national government will keep working overtime on these projects. Even if they do not get completed during the President’s term, the important thing is that they have been started),” Domagoso said.
He added that this is one of the important legacies of the Duterte administration to the next generation.
President Duterte’s last SONA
Domagoso said for the last State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Rodrigo Duterte, he is looking forward to hearing an inspirational message which calls for unity.
“Kailangan nating ipaalala sa lahat na ang suliranin na hinaharap natin ngayon ay hindi nalulutas nang mag-isa (We should remnd everyone that this problem that the country is facing cannot be solved by one person alone). We cannot heal as one if we do not work as one,” he said.
He added that this pandemic, being a universal problem, knows no political color.
“Kaya ‘yun ang gusto kong marinig sa SONA. Isang panawagan sa lahat na itigil ang mga alitan (That is what I am expecting to hear in this SONA. A call to end the conflict). We have to unite so we can focus on defeating the problems that our country faces,” he said. (PNA)